American Revolution Timeline
1650 – Navigation Acts passed under the mercantile system. They prohibit colonial trade with other countries.
1763 - The Proclamation of 1763, signed by King George III of England, prohibits any English settlement west of the Appalachian mountains and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans. _____________________________________________________________________
1764 - The Sugar Act is passed by the English Parliament to pay the war debt brought on by the French and Indian War. This act increases the tax on imported sugar and molasses. Boston merchants begin a boycott of British luxury goods.
1765 - The Stamp Act is passed by the English Parliament on all printed materials (newspapers, legal documents, licenses, and playing cards). The American colonists quickly unite in opposition, led by people such as Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry. The Stamp Act is repealed the next year.
1765 - The Quartering Act requires colonists to house British troops and supply them with food.
1767 - The Townshend Acts are passed. Items taxed include imports such as paper, tea, glass, lead and paints. The people of Boston decide to boycott English goods. This is later Repealed.
1770 - The Boston Massacre occurs as a mob harasses British soldiers who then fire their muskets into the crowd, killing Crispus Attucks (1st casualty of the Revolution) and two other instantly.
1773 - The Tea Act is passed. It puts a tax on tea and allows colonists to only buy British Tea.
1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurs. Samuel Adams organizes the Sons of Liberty to disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians then board the ships and dump all 342 containers of tea into the harbor.
1774 - The Intolerable Acts (called The Coercive Acts by Britain) are passed to punish the colonists for their rebellion in Massachusetts (i.e. Boston Tea Party). Boston Harbor is closed to all trade and the local governments in the colonies are shut down so the colonists cannot offically communicate.
April 18, 1775 - 700 British soldiers are sent to Lexington and Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons depot. Paul Revere’s went on his Midnight ride to warn colonists. The next day about 70 armed Massachusetts militiamen stand face to face on Lexington Green with the British advance guard. An unordered 'shot heard round the world' begins the American Revolution.
May 10, 1775 - The Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, with John Hancock elected as its president of the congress. They unanimously voted to appoint George Washington general and commander-in-chief of the new Continental Army.
June 17, 1775 - The Battle of Bunker Hill: The first major fight between British and American troops occurs in Boston. American troops are dug in along the high ground of Breed's Hill and are attacked by 2000 British soldiers who storm up the hill. The Americans are ordered not to fire until they can see "the whites of their eyes" because they are low on gunpowder.
January 9, 1776 - Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" is published in Philadelphia. The 50 page pamphlet is highly critical of King George III and attacks allegiance to Monarchy in principle while providing strong arguments for American independence. It becomes an instant best-seller in America.
June-July, 1776 - The Continental Congress appoints a committee to draft a declaration of independence. Committee members are Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Livingston and Roger Sherman. Jefferson is chosen by the committee to prepare the first draft of the declaration, which he completes in one day. Just seventeen days later, June 28, Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is ready and is presented to the Congress, with changes made by Adams and Franklin.
July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
June 14, 1777 - The flag of the United States consisting of 13 stars and 13 white and red stripes is mandated by Congress; John Paul Jones is chosen by Congress to captain the 18 gun vessel Ranger with his mission to raid coastal towns of England.
July 27, 1777 - Marquis de Lafayette, a 19 year old French aristocrat, arrives in Philadelphia and volunteers to serve without pay. Congress appoints him as a major general in the Continental Army. Lafayette will become one of Gen. Washington's most trusted aides.
October 7, 1777 – “THE TURNING POINT” The Battle of Saratoga results in the first major American victory of the Revolutionary War. The victory at Saratoga convinced the French to come help the colonies by sending naval fleets as well as soldiers.
November 15, 1777 - Articles of Confederation - Congress is made sole authority of the new national government.
February 6, 1778 - France signs a treaty of alliance with the United States and promises to send naval aid and soldiers.
September 14, 1778 - Benjamin Franklin appointed American representative in France.
September 27, 1779 - John Adams is appointed to negotiate peace with England.
October 19, 1781 - The British army under General Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at Yorktown - a devastating effect on the British
September 3, 1783 - The Treaty of Paris is signed by the United States and Great Britain recognizing American independence and the British withdrawal from America.