Timeline of pre–United States history
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- 1492 - Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Hispaniola, discovering the New World for 15th century Europe.
- 1497 - John Cabot lands in Newfoundland, beginning the British colonial presence in North America.
Christopher Columbus, financed by Spain, makes the first voyages to the New World. He lands in the Bahamas. (Oct. 12)
- 1513 - Vasco Núñez de Balboa crosses isthmus of Panama, sees Pacific Ocean.
- 1513 - Juan Ponce de León defeats Tlaxcala, a small state neighboring the Aztec empire.
- 1520s - Spanish begin conquest of Maya civilization.
- 1521 - Hernán Cortés destroys the Aztec empire.
- 1524 - Giovanni da Verrazzano, working for France, explores coastline from present-day Maine to North Carolina.
- 1542 - Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River, strengthening Spanish claims to the interior of North America.
- 1565 - Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founds St. Augustine, Florida the first Spanish settlement in the New World, and is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States.
- 1570s - Iroquois Confederacy founded.
- 1587 - Sir Walter Raleigh founds Roanoke Colony, the first English settlement in the New World, in the Virginia Colony.
- 1590 - Roanoke Colony found deserted.
- 1607 - Jamestown is founded by the Virginia Company of London as the beginning of the Colony of Virginia.
- 1607 - Popham Colony founded by the Virginia Company of Plymouth in present-day Maine. It is abandoned the following year.
- 1614 - Dutch claim New Netherland.
- 1619 - Slavery introduced to the Colony of Virginia.
- 1620 - Mayflower Compact signed.
- 1625 - Foundation of New York City as New Amsterdam.
- 1628 - Massachusetts Bay Colony founded.
- 1630 - Winthrop Fleet to Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1630 - Manor of Rensselaerswyck founded.
- 1634 - Province of Maryland founded.
- 1634 - Theologian Roger Williams banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1635 - Connecticut Colony founded by Thomas Hooker.
- 1636 - Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations founded by Roger Williams.
- 1636 - Harvard College founded.
- 1637 - New Haven Colony founded.
- 1637 - Pequot War ends in New England.
- 1638 - Delaware Colony founded.
- 1638 - New Sweden established.
- 1639 - Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony signed.
- 1639 - Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted.
- 1640 - French and Iroquois Wars escalate to full warfare.
- 1643 - New England Confederation created
- 1643-1645 - Kieft's War in New Netherland
- 1644-1646 - Third Anglo–Powhatan War
- 1649 - Maryland Toleration Act
- 1649 - Execution of King Charles I and establishment of Commonwealth in England.
- 1660 - British republic collapses, Charles II becomes King
- 1662 - Halfway Covenant adopted
- 1663 - King Charles II grants charter for a new colony, Province of Carolina
- 1664 - New Amsterdam captured by the English at the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War
- 1667 - New Netherland ceded to England under Treaty of Breda
- 1669-1670 - John Lederer of Virginia explores the Appalachian Mountains
- 1670 - Charles Town (Charleston) founded in present-day South Carolina
- 1671 - The Batts-Fallam expedition sponsored by Abraham Wood reaches the New River (West Virginia)
- 1672 - Blue Laws enacted in Connecticut
- 1672-1673 - Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette explore the Illinois Country
- 1674 - New Netherland permanently relinquished to English with Treaty of Westminster
- 1675 - King Philip's War (1675–76) in New England
- 1676 - Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia
- 1677 - Province of Maine absorbed by Massachusetts Bay Colony
- 1679 - War between the Westo and colonial South Carolina results in the destruction of the Westo.
- 1680 - Pueblo Revolt in Spanish New Mexico
- 1682 - Province of Pennsylvania founded by William Penn
- 1682 - René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle travels down the Mississippi River to its mouth
- 1685 - King Charles II dies and James II succeeds to throne, reducing colonial autonomy
- 1686 - Dominion of New England decreed
- 1687 - Yamasee Indians from Spanish Florida move to South Carolina, becoming an important ally of the English
- 1688 - Glorious Revolution deposes James II and replaces him with William and Mary
- 1689 - Dominion of New England ceases to exist as Governor is deposed.
- 1689 - King William's War (1689–1697), part of the wider War of the Grand Alliance, begins
- 1690 - Schenectady Massacre
- 1692 - Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts
- 1697 - The War of the Grand Alliance, known as King William's War in North America, ends with the Treaty of Ryswick
- 1698 - Pensacola, Florida established by the Spanish
- 1699 - Biloxi, Mississippi by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
- See Timeline of the American Revolution for events starting from 1760.
- 1701 - The Collegiate school at Saybrook is founded in Connecticut; it will later be renamed as Yale College
- 1702 - William III dies, is succeeded by Queen Anne
- 1702 - Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession) begins
- 1702 - East Jersey and West Jersey become crown colonies
- 1715 - Yamasee War in South Carolina colony
- 1725 - Father Rale's War (1722-1725)
- 1727 - George I dies, is succeeded by George II
- 1729 - Province of Carolina proprietors sell out to Crown
- 1732 - First Great Awakening was also time of war
August 4, 1735 Verdict rendered in the New York City trial of John Peter Zenger
- 1752 - Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment
- 1754 - French and Indian War begins, part of the Seven Years' War
- 1754 - Albany Congress, in which a "Union of Colonies" is proposed
- 1758 - Treaty of Easton
- Timeline of the colonization of North America
- Colonial history of the United States
- Timeline of United States history