American Revolution Timeline

American Revolution Timeline
Important dates and events in the American Revolution (American War of Independence)
The American colonies and Great Britain
The Stamp Act & the Sons of Liberty
"Give me liberty or give me death!"
The Treaty of Paris between the United States and Great Britain
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The American Revolution
The American Revolution (American War of Independence) was waged between the American colonies and Great Britain (1775-1783), leading to the formation of the independent United States of America. The American Revolution was due to the British burden of taxes and total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies. George Washington led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence).

  176025 October: King George III ascends to the throne of England. 
     
  1763February 10: Treaty of Paris ends French and Indian War (1754-1763). Canada east of the Mississippi River added to the British empire.

Pontiac's Rebellion against the British

October 7: The Proclamation of 1763 issued by King George III after the end of the French and Indian War / Seven Years' War to organize the new North American empire and stabilize relations with Native Americans. No British settlements allowed west of the Appalachian mountains. Settlers already in these areas required to return east
 
     
  17641764 - The Sugar Act doubling the duties on foreign goods reshipped from England to the colonies. A court is established in Halifax, Nova Scotia with jurisdiction over all of the American colonies in trade matters.

The Currency Act prohibiting the colonists from issuing any legal tender paper money

February: James Otis urges a united response to the recent acts imposed by England. The phrase "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny" is usually attributed to James Otis

July: James Otis publishes "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved."

August: Boston merchants begin a boycott of British luxury goods.
 
     
  1765March 22: The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament as a means to pay for British troops on the American frontier. Colonists violently protest the first direct tax on the American colonies. Americans were forced to pay tax directly to England. and not to their own local legislatures in America.

March 24: The Quartering Act required American colonists to house British troops and supply them with food.

May: Patrick Henry presents seven Virginia Resolutions claiming that only the Virginia assembly can legally tax Virginia residents

July: The Sons of Liberty is formed - a secret organization opposed to the Stamp Act

October: The Stamp Act Congress prepares a resolution to be sent to King George III requesting the repeal of the Stamp Act

November 1: Many daily transactions cease as the Stamp Act goes into effect. Violence breaks out in New York City

December: Over 200 Boston merchants refuse to pay the Stamp Tax
 
     
  17661766 March 18. Stamp Act repealed - Ben Franklin argued for repeal and warned of a possible revolution in the American colonies if the Stamp Act was enforced by the British military

March 18: Declaratory Act passed asserting the British right to make laws binding on the colonies.

January: New York assembly refuses to fully enforce the Quartering Act.

August: Violence breaks out in New York between British soldiers and members of the Sons of Liberty due to the continued refusal to comply with the Quartering Act

December: New York legislature is suspended after voting against compliance with the Act.
 
     
  1767June: Townshend Revenue Acts - new taxes on imports

October: Boston reinstates boycott of English luxury goods
 
     
  1768The Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Treaty of Hard Labor (both 1768) and the Treaty of Lochaber (1770) opened much of what is now West Virginia and Kentucky to British settlement.

October. British troops arrive in Boston to enforce customs laws.

July: Merchants in Boston and New York boycott British goods until the Townshend Acts are repealed

September: Boston colonists encouraged to urged to arm themselves

September: English warships sail into Boston Harbor leaving two regiments of English troops to keep order.
 
     
  1769March: Merchants in Philadelphia join the boycott

May: George Mason writes resolutions presented by George Washington to the Virginia House of Burgesses opposing taxation without representation

October: Boycott of English goods spreads to Rhode Island, New Jersey and North Carolina
 
     
  1770March: "The Boston Massacre" - Four workers shot by British troops in Boston.

April: Repeal of the Townshend Acts and the Quartering Act by the British. The only duties on imports into the colonies are for tea
 
     
  1772June: A British customs schooner called the Gaspee is attacked by colonists from Providence

September: Reward offered for the capture of the guilty colonists who would then be sent to England for trial

November: Boston town meeting endorses proclamations asserting the rights of the colonies to self-rule.
 
     
  1773May 10: The Tea Act claiming a threepenny per pound import tax on tea arriving in the colonies and provides the British East India Company a virtual tea monopoly by selling directly to chosen tea agents, bypassing and underselling American merchants who acted as middlemen.

October: Colonists in Philadelphia force British tea agents to resign their positions

November 6 : Colonists in Boston fail to force their British tea agents to resign

November 20: Three ships carrying tea sail into Boston harbor

November 29/30: Colonists decide to send the tea ships Dartmouth back to England without paying any import duties

November 30: The Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson (1711 – 1780), orders harbor officials not to let the ship sail out of the harbor unless the tea taxes have been paid.

December 16: The Boston Tea Party occurs when activists disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians then board the ships and dump all 342 containers of tea into the harbor. The Colonial activists were believed to be organized by Samuel Adams and the "Sons of Liberty" group. Samuel Adams then began to make his case for independence to John Adams, his second cousin, and a wealthy merchant named John Hancock.
 
     
  1774March:  The Coercive Acts (called Intolerable Acts by Americans) in response to the rebellion in Massachusetts. The Coercive Acts included:

Massachusetts Government Act
Administration of Justice Act
Boston Port Act
Quartering Act 

The Boston Port Act shut down all commercial shipping in Boston harbor until Massachusetts payed the taxes owed on the tea dumped in the harbor and compensation to the East India Company

May 12: Boston calls for a boycott of British imports

May 13: General Thomas Gage replaces Hutchinson as Royal governor and places Massachusetts under military rule

May 17-23: Providence, New York and Philadelphia call for an inter-colonial congress against the Coercive Acts

May 20: The Quebec Act establishing a centralized government in Canada controlled by the British and extending the southern boundary of Canada into territories claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Virginia.

September 5 - October 26: The First Continental Congress meets and declares its opposition to the Coercive Acts. The rights to "life, liberty and property" are asserted and delegates agree to a boycott English imports, place an embargo of exports to Britain and discontinue the slave trade.
 
     
  1775February 9: English Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion

March 23: Patrick Henry delivers the "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech

March 30: New England Restraining Act requiring New England colonies to trade exclusively with England

April: Massachusetts Governor Gage is ordered to enforce the Coercive Acts and suppress the "open rebellion"

April 18: General Gage orders British soldiers to destroy the colonists weapons depot in Concord. Paul Revere leaves Boston to warn colonists.

April 19 Shots fired at Lexington and Concord where weapons depot destroyed. "Minute Men" force British troops back to Boston. George Washington takes command of the Continental Army.

April 23: The Provincial Congress in Massachusetts orders 13,600 American soldiers to be mobilized and volunteers begin a year long siege of Boston which is held by the British.

May 10: Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold lead the capture Fort Ticonderoga in New York which contains weapons

May 15: Congress places the colonies in a state of defense

June 15: George Washington appointed general and commander-in-chief of the new Continental Army.

June 17: Battle of Bunker Hill

July 5: Olive Branch Petition aimed at reconciliation with Britain which fails

July 6: Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms stating that Americans are "resolved to die free men rather than live as slaves."
 
     
  1776January. Thomas Paine's Common Sense published providing strong arguments for American independence.

March 4-17: American forces capture Dorchester Heights and British evacuate Boston

May 2: The American revolution gains support from King Louis XVI of France

June 7 Richard Henry Lee from Virginia delegate presents a formal resolution to the Continental Congress for America to declare its independence from Britain.

1776 July 4. Thomas Jefferson presents the United States Declaration of Independence

July 12 A huge British force under the command of General William Howe arrives in New York harbor to crush the rebellion.

August 2 Members of Congress sign the United States Declaration of Independence

August 27-29: Battle of Long Island - British victory

September 16: Battle of Harlem Heights where Washington's army repulses British attack

September 26: Congress appoint Jefferson, Franklin and Silas Deane to negotiate European treaties Franklin and Deane go to France seeking financial and military aid

October 11: American Navy defeated on Lake Champlain

October 28 Battle of White Plains force General Washington to retreat to the west pursued by Cornwallis

December 26: Washington crosses the Delaware River and captures a Hessian force (German mercenaries) at Trenton, New Jersey
 
     
  1777January 3: American victory at Princeton

April 27: American troops under Benedict Arnold defeat the British at Ridgefield, Connecticut

June 2: The second Quartering Act

July. A British force led by John Burgoyne takes Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain in a devastating loss to the Americans

July 27: Marquis de Lafayette arrives in Philadelphia and is appointed as a major general in the Continental Army

September 11 General Washington defeated at Brandywine

October 7: American victory at Battle of Saratoga

October 17: Americans capture Burgoyne and his army at Saratoga.

November 15: Articles of Confederation - Congress is made sole authority of the new national government.
 
     
  1778February 6:  France signs a treaty of alliance with the United States and the American Revolution soon becomes a world war.

March 16: A Peace Commission rejected by Congress.

May 8: British General Henry Clinton replaces General Howe as commander of all British forces in the American colonies.

May 30: Iroquois Indians burn Cobleskill, New York.

June 27/28: The Battle of Monmouth occurs in New Jersey as Washington's troops and General. Clinton's troops fight to a standoff.

July 3: British Loyalists and Indians massacre American settlers in the Wyoming Valley

July 8: General Washington sets up headquarters at West Point

July 10: France declares war against Britain.

September 14: Benjamin Franklin appointed American representative in France.

November 11: Loyalists and Indians massacre American settlers at Cherry Valley, New York,

December 29: British capture Savannah and Augusta.
 
     
  1779April 1-30, 1779 - In retaliation for Indian raids on colonial settlements, American troops from North Carolina and Virginia attack Chickamauga Indian villages in Tennessee.

June 16: Spain declares war on England but no alliance with America

August 14: A peace plan is approved by Congress stipulating independence and British evacuation of America

August 29: American victory at Elmira, New York

September 3 - October 28: American defeat at Savannah

September 27: John Adams is appointed to negotiate peace with England.
 
     
  1780April 8: British attack Charleston, South Carolina

May 6: British capture Fort Moultrie at Charleston

May 12: Charleston falls to the British

June 11:  A new Massachusetts constitution is endorsed - "all men are born free and equal," which includes black slaves.

June 23: Battle of Springfield American victory

August 3: Benedict Arnold appointed commander of West Point

August 16: British victory in South Carolina

September 23:  Plans discovered indicating Benedict Arnold intends to turn traitor and surrender West Point. Benedict Arnold joins the British
 
     
  1781January: Series of mutinies by American troops quashed

January 17: American victory at Cowpens

March 15: Battle of Guilford Courthouse British victory

June 10: American troops in Virginia led by Marquis de Lafayette, General Anthony Wayne and Baron von Steuben oppose British forces under Benedict Arnold and General Cornwallis.

July 20: Rebellion by slaves in Williamsburg, Virginia

September 5-8 Victory for French fleet of de Grasse. Cornwallis cut off from any retreat by sea

September 6: Benedict Arnold leads troops who burn the port of New London, Connecticut.

September 14-24: De Grasse sends ships up the Chesapeake Bay to transport the American armies to Yorktown.

September 28: Siege of Yorktown begins

October 17: American victory at Yorktown terms discussed for the British surrender.

October 19: The British army surrenders at Yorktown - a devastating effect on the British
 
     
  1782February 27: English Parliament votes against further war in America.

March 5: The British Parliament empowers King George to negotiate peace with the United States.

March 20: British Prime Minister Lord Rockingham starts negotiations with the American peace commissioners.

April 4: Sir Guy Carleton replaces General Clinton as the new commander of British forces in America

April 12: Paris Peace talks begin

August: Raids by Loyalist and Indian forces on American settlers in Kentucky and Pennsylvania

August 27: Battle at Combahee River marks the last fighting between British and American forces

November 10: The final battle of the Revolutionary War when Americans retaliate by attacking a Shawnee village in Ohio

November 30: Preliminary peace treaty signed in Paris recognising American independence and the British withdrawal from America.
 
     
  1783February 4: England officially declares an end to hostilities in America

February: Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Russia. recognize the United States of America

April 11: Congress Official declaration of the end to the Revolutionary War

July 8: Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolishes slavery in the state.

September 3: The Treaty of Paris is signed by the United States and Great Britain

November 2: George Washington delivers farewell address

December 23: Washington resigns his commission as commander-in-chief to the Congress of the Confederation.
 
     
  1784January 14: The Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress and the American Revolutionary War officially ends. 
     
American Revolution Timeline

American Revolution Timeline
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American Revolution Timeline

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