US History Timeline

  • Sep 8, 1440

    Johann Gutlenburg

    Johann Gutlenburg
    Johann's printing press would make a dramatic impact on the entire world. With the ability to mass produce books (including the bible) new ideas were popping up left and right. In fact it was Marco Polo's book that inspired Columbus! And later, having read the bible and interpreted it in their own way, religious settlers would travel accross the ocean for more religious freedom.
  • Jan 1, 1492


    The Reconquista, a holy war waged by Spain against Muslims, was a role madel for all of the exploration that followed it. When Columbus left to 'sail the ocean blue' he used their brutality against any other religion/belief as an example as to how to respond to the Indians that he encountered. And, unfortunately, Columbus set the bar for how the Native Americans would be treated for the next few hundred years. Intolerance was the way.
  • Jan 1, 1494

    Treaty of Tordesillas

    Treaty of Tordesillas
    This treaty divided the entire world amongst Spain and Portugal, as deemed by the Catholic Church. (Thus giving them more power than they already had with such important matters) With the land fueds through aside (for all intents and purposes) between them, they set their eyes on England who was left our entirely from the deal. This 'line' would later cause the Spaniards to attack England on multiple occasions for trying to get in on their riches, creating immense competition in the countries.
  • Jan 1, 1497

    John Cabot/ Sebastion Cabot

    John Cabot/ Sebastion Cabot
    For a while the son and father trio were forgotten in England, old hat with more important matters at hand. Their explorations wouldn't be relavent until later on in the race for America when England would use them as a belated claim to the rich American lands.
  • Jan 1, 1503

    Encomienda System

    Encomienda System
    The Encomienda System was a moving factor in America's exploration, motivating many Spaniards to enslave Native Americans for their own greedy purposes with promises of legal protection and religious guidence. Both of these things were major powers during this time, the people wanted to remain in the good graces of both and therefore did as neccessary. Afterall, the Europeans had the advantage in warefare. This system also played a huge role in Spain's controll over the area.
  • Jan 1, 1529

    Protestant Reformation

    Protestant Reformation
    The growing tension between England's royalty and the Catholic Church was finally cut but now Spain and Portugal who were devote Catholics were at odds with England. This would show up later amongst their war for the New World, upping the intensity of their land fueds. (It also aided in withholding England from the original rush for America)
  • Roanoke

    This was England's first attempt at a colony gone horribly wrong. It was also a learning experience for England; America was not a land of perfection. If anything, if not that they picked the wrong place for farming, they learned that Spain was not messing around. They were the enemy and England needed to know that.
  • Richard Haklyut

    Richard Haklyut
    Writer of the book Principall Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Notion, Richard could be blamed for the mass of people whoose morals were only one sided. His book spoke of a land of promise and wealth that was for the Europeans' taking, not mentioning the Natives already living there. Providing more excuses for later colonizers' brutality.
  • Jamestown, Virginia

    Jamestown, Virginia
    Jamestown was primarily founded as a means for instant wealth by the joint-stock company. It was a complete disaster as the colonist were completely unaware of the challeges they would face in America and immediately began querrelling. In came John Smith who brought a sort of order to the madness, forcing everyone to work. And later Edwin Sandys who tried to salvage Jamestown and bring the promised profit creatingThe House of Burgesses (an elective representative assembly) to atract the wealthy.
  • Quebec

    Unlike the English, the French regarded the Native Americans as trading partners rather than obsticles, influencing later wars with their campanionship. They were also partially resonsible for the idea of America being a vast nation, perhaps the English colonists on the east coast were influenced by such ideals.
  • New York

    New York
    Founded for a commercial profit and named an English Colony in 1664.
  • Plymouth

    Founded as a refuge for Separatists (later Pilgrams) from England in 1620 when the Mayflower got off course from it's route to Virginia. To protect their new colony from anarchy the men signed The Mayflower Compact. This colony was later absorbed into Massachusettes Bay.
  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire
    Originally began as a part of Massachusetts but became independent 1677.
  • Massachusetts Bay

    Massachusetts Bay
    Created as a result of both the Great Migration and the Protestant Reformation this prosperous colony (sometimes called the Shinning City on the Hill) was primarily made up of Puritans. Both Roger Williams and Anne Hutchenson were banished to Rhode Island for their extreme ideals.
  • Maryland

    Originally sponered by Sir George Calvert (later Cecilius as he died before he could actually founded it) as a refuge for England's persecuted Catholics but he wanted to make money and also allowed Protestants knowing it wouldn't prosper without them. Puritans took over during a civil war-like state called the "Plundering Time".
  • Connecticut

    Originally an extention of the ever prosporous Massachusetts Bay, it grew in population due to it's fertile lands. The Fundemental Orders of Connecticut were passed in 1639 as a plan for civil government.
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island
    Founded by Roger Williams and partly Anne Huchinson and her followers after being forced to leave Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island became a place of great religious tolerance.
  • Slave Trade

    Slave Trade
    This trade produced mass numbers of new peoples to the Americas (also killing many Natives from disease) it would later influence the populations of the nations after the colonies were long gone.
  • Carolinas

    Many fled here from Barbados which was over populated as they could keep their high social status.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Bacon's Rebellion
    Nathaniel Bacon was an unhappy former indentured servent. He pushed for the hostile takeover of Native American lands but was refused by the government. He wanted his chance at becoming an elite, what he thought he was promised. This resulted in the primary use of African slaves as they were easy to distingusih.
  • Pennsylvania

    Founded by William Penn as a refuge for Quakers from England.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    A list of of the constitution rights of Englishmen as a result of news of the Glorious Revolution in the colonies.
  • Georgia

    Originally founded as an act of aggression against Spain, a fort of sorts, wth strict regulations.
  • First Great Awakening

    First Great Awakening
    Looking back as each generation does, the colonist feared that they were not as religious as their ancestors once were. Inspired by the Enlightenment and the preachings of Jonathon Edwards (who was sponsored by Benjamin Franklin), this movement was spread by George Whitefeild. an excellent speaker who toured the colonies.
  • French Indian War/ Seven Years War

    French Indian War/ Seven Years War
    This was a war between the British and the French (who in turn brought in their native American allies) over the territory around the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It eventually in 1763 (The Peace of Paris) as a British victory. In return for this small 'favor' the British felt that it was only right for the colonists to pay for all the expenses of the war. The war was probably the core cause of the Revolution.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    This was the first attempt of the British to force the colonists to pay for the Seven Years War. It's goal was to reduce the amount of smuggling and illegal acts. Although this act ironically lowered the price of sugar the colonists were outraged at what they saw as a violation of their rights.
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    Forced colonists to house British troops and supply them with goods needed for living. Many refused the law entirely.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    This act tried to force colonists to buy special stamps for any documents (including cards). It affected both the elite and common people. starting up the Sons of Liberty.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    A group of delegates who wrote petetions to the crown and parliment on their beliefs of being taxed without representation.
  • Declatory Act

    Declatory Act
    Parliament announced sovereignty over all colonies under any circumstances but repealed the Stamp Act. The colonists were not pleased but nevertheless did nothing.
  • Townshend Revenue Acts

    Townshend Revenue Acts
    These new acts created stricter customs collections and revised duties on glass, lead, paper, paints and tea.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston colonists, growing increasingly angry at the presence of British regulars taking their jobs and other things, gathered to protest. It soon took a violent turn when, in confusion, shots were fired killing five Americans.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    This act was devised to save the East Indian Trading Company from bankrupcy by allowing them direct trade with the colonists and again, even though it lowered the cost of tea, the colonists rebelled as this undermined the consistant smuggling of Dutch tea. This ultimately resulted in the Boston Tea Party.
  • Coercive/ Intolerable Acts

    Coercive/ Intolerable Acts
    An act meant to force the Boston colonists to pay back the debt ammassed by the Boston tea party by closing their ports. This worked against them as it brought the colonies together and brought forth their true fears: Britain was tyrannical and trying to steal their freedom.
  • First Continetal Congress

    First Continetal Congress
    The First Continental Congress met to decide the next course of action regarding independenceand brought great leaders such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Christopher Gadsden, and George Washington together.
  • Shot Heard Round the World

    Shot Heard Round the World
    This was the deciding moment in the tenseness between the colonies and Britain; peace was no longer in the equation. The British soldiers passed Lexington on the way to Concord, where the militia of Lexington were standing. In a moment of confusion someone fired; the British fired back and killed 8 Americans.
  • Second Continetal Congress

    Second Continetal Congress
    The Congress formed a continental Army and put George Washington in charge. The delegates talked more about independence but nothing was decided.
  • The Olive Branch Petition

    The Olive Branch Petition
    Last attempt at peace between the British and the Americans but as ultimately rejected by the king.
  • Prohibitory Act

    Prohibitory Act
    An attempt at forcing colonists to obey placing an embargo on American goods and many American ships are seized. This furthers the colonist's drive for independence.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Written by Thomas Paine, this book inspired many ordinary colonists to break their ties with Britain.
  • Trenton

    The Americans captured an exposed post and, at night, crossed the freezing Delaware River and launching a very successful surprise attack on the 900 sleeping Hessian mercenaries.
  • Second Battle of Saratoga

    Second Battle of Saratoga
    The second battle of Saratoga gained the Americans a proper French alliance. The great terms nogotiated by Benjamin Franklin seem too good to be true. The Americans promised they would not sign a peace treaty with Britain before telling France and France promised to release their claim on Canada, though they would take specific British islands in the Carribean.
  • German Town/ Valley Forge

    German Town/ Valley Forge
    A counter attack that would have gone in favor of the Americans had confusion not over taken them leading to a full blown retreat. Poor camp conditions lead to diseases that took 2500 American lives.
  • Kings Mountain

    Kings Mountain
    This battle was fought in the backwoods and introduced guerilla warfare.
  • Yorktown

    The ending battle of the Revolution in which the French trapped Cornwallis from the sea and the Americans by land. He was forced to surrender.