Timeline of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free of the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America.
The Revolution includes political, social, and military aspects. The Revolutionary era is generally considered to have begun with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 and ended with the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights in 1791. The military phase of the Revolution, the American Revolutionary War, lasted from 1775 to 1783.
- 1760 – Pierre de Rigaud, Governor of New France, capitulates (September 8) to Field Marshal Jeffrey Amherst. This ends most fighting in North America between France and Great Britain in the French and Indian War. Amherst becomes the First British Governor-General of territories that would later become Canada plus lands (Ohio Country and Illinois Country) west of the American Colonies.
- 1760 – King George II of Great Britain dies (October 25) and is succeeded by his grandson George III.
- 1763 – The Treaty of Paris (February 10) formally ends the French and Indian War. France cedes most of its territories in North America to Great Britain, but Louisiana west of the Mississippi River is ceded to Spain.
- 1763 – Previously allied with France, Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region resist the policies of the British under Amherst. Pontiac's Rebellion begins, lasting until 1766.
- 1763 – King George's Royal Proclamation of 1763 (October 7) establishes administration in territories newly ceded by France. To prevent further violence between settlers and Native Americans, the Proclamation sets a western boundary on the American colonies.
- 1764 – The Sugar Act (April 5), intended to raise revenues, and the Currency Act (September 1), prohibiting the colonies from issuing paper money, are passed by Parliament. These Acts, coming during the economic slump that followed the French and Indian War, are resented by the colonists and lead to protests.
- 1765 – To help defray the cost of keeping troops in America, Parliament enacts (March 22) the Stamp Act, imposing a tax on many types of printed materials used in the colonies. Seen as a violation of rights, the Act sparks violent demonstrations in several Colonies. Virginia's House of Burgesses adopts (May 29) the Virginia Resolves claiming that, under British law, Virginians could be taxed only by an assembly to which they had elected representatives. Delegates from nine colonies attend the Stamp Act Congress which adopts (October 19) a Declaration of Rights and Grievances and petitions Parliament and the king to repeal the Act.
- 1765 – Parliament enacts (March 24) the Quartering Act, requiring the Colonies to provide housing, food, and other provisions to British troops. The act is resisted or circumvented in most of the colonies. In 1767 and again in 1769, Parliament suspended the governor and legislature of New York for failure to comply.
- 1766 – The British Parliament repeals (March 18) the unpopular Stamp Act of the previous year, but, in the simultaneous Declaratory Act, asserts its "full power and authority to make laws and statutes ... to bind the colonies and people of America ... in all cases whatsoever".
- 1766 – Liberty Pole erected in New York City commons in celebration of the Stamp Act repeal (May 21). An intermittent skirmish with the British garrison over the removal of this and other poles, and their replacement by the Sons of Liberty, rages until the Province of New York is under the control of the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress in 1775
- 1767 – The Townshend Acts, named for Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend, are passed by Parliament (June 29), placing duties on many items imported into America.
1768 - In April, England's Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Hillsborough, orders colonial governors to stop their own assemblies from endorsing Adams' circular letter. Hillsborough also orders the governor of Massachusetts to dissolve the general court if the Massachusetts assembly does not revoke the letter. By month's end, the assemblies of New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey have endorsed the letter.
1768 - In May, a British warship armed with 50 cannons sails into Boston harbor after a call for help from custom commissioners who are constantly being harassed by Boston agitators. In June, a customs official is locked up in the cabin of the Liberty, a sloop owned by John Hancock. Imported wine is then unloaded illegally into Boston without payment of duties. Following this incident, customs officials seize Hancock's sloop. After threats of violence from Bostonians, the customs officials escape to an island off Boston, then request the intervention of British troops.
1768 - In July, the governor of Massachusetts dissolves the general court after the legislature defies his order to revoke Adams' circular letter. In August, in Boston and New York, merchants agree to boycott most British goods until the Townshend Acts are repealed. In September, at a town meeting in Boston, residents are urged to arm themselves. Later in September, English warships sail into Boston Harbor, then two regiments of English infantry land in Boston and set up permanent residence to keep order.
- 1769 – To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York broadside published by the local Sons of Liberty (c. December)
- 1770 – Golden Hill incident in which British troops wound civilians, including one death (January 19)
- 1770 – Lord North becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain (January 28)
- 1770 – Boston Massacre (March 5)
- 1771 – Battle of Alamance in North Carolina (May 16)
- 1772 – Samuel Adams organizes the Committees of Correspondence
- 1772 – Gaspée Affair (June 9)
- 1772 – The Watauga Association in what would become Tennessee declares itself independent.
- 1773 – Parliament passes the Tea Act (May 10)
- 1773 – Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York published by local Sons of Liberty (December 15)
- 1773 – Boston Tea Party (December 16)
- 1774 – Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts' agent in London, is questioned before Parliament
- 1774 – Lord Dunmore's War
- 1774 – British pass Intolerable Acts, including:
- 1774 – The Powder Alarm, General Gage's secret raid on the Cambridge powder magazine (September 1)
- 1774 – The First Continental Congress meets; twelve colonies send delegates
- 1774 – Burning of the HMS Peggy Stewart (October 19)
- 1774 - Petition to the King (October 26)
- 1774 – Greenwich Tea Party (December 22)
- 1775 – Battles of Lexington and Concord, followed by the Siege of Boston (April 19)
- 1775 - Gunpowder Incident April 20)
- 1775 – Skenesboro, New York (now Whitehall, New York) captured by Lt Samuel Herrick. (May 9)
- 1775 – Fort Ticonderoga captured by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys. (May 10)
- 1775 – Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17)
- 1775 – The Second Continental Congress meets
- 1775 – Olive Branch Petition sent to King George III
- 1775 – Henry Knox transported fifty-nine captured cannon (taken from Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point) from upstate New York to Boston, MA. Trip took 56 days to complete. (Dec. 05, 1775 to Jan. 24,1776)
- 1776 – New Hampshire ratifies the first state constitution
- 1776 – Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense (January 10)
- 1776 – Battle of Nassau (March 3–4)
- 1776 – Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet (June 29)
- 1776 – The Second Continental Congress enacts (July 2) a resolution declaring independence from the British Empire, and then approves (July 4) the written Declaration of Independence.
- 1776 – Battle of Long Island, a.k.a. Battle of Brooklyn (August 27)
- 1776 – British prison ships begin in Wallabout Bay, New York
- 1776 – Staten Island Peace Conference (September 11)
- 1776 – Landing at Kip's Bay (September 15)
- 1776 – Battle of Harlem Heights (September 16)
- 1776 – Great Fire of New York (September 21–22)
- 1776 – Nathan Hale captured and executed for espionage (September 22)
- 1776 – Battle of Valcour Island (October 11)
- 1776 – Battle of White Plains (October 29)
- 1776 – Battle of Fort Washington (November 16)
- 1776 – Battle of Fort Lee (November 20)
- 1776 – Battle of Iron Works Hill (December 23 – December 26)
- 1776 – Battle of Trenton (December 26)
- 1777 – Second Battle of Trenton (January 2)
- 1777 – Battle of Princeton (January 3)
- 1777 – Forage War
- 1777 – Battle of Bound Brook (April 13)
- 1777 – Middlebrook encampment (May 28 – July 2)
- 1777 – Fort Ticonderoga abandoned by the Americans due to advancing British troops placing cannon on Mount Defiance. (July 5)
- 1777 – British retake Fort Ticonderoga. (July 6)
- 1777 – Battle of Hubbardton (July 7, 1777)
- 1777 – Delegates in Vermont, which was not one of the Thirteen Colonies, establish a republic and adopt (July 8) a constitution—the first in what is now the territory of the United States to prohibit slavery. (Vermont would become the fourteenth state in 1791.)
- 1777 – Battle of Short Hills (July 26)
- 1777 – Battle of Oriskany (August 6)
- 1777 – Battle of Bennington (August 16)
- 1777 – Battle of Brandywine (September 11)
- 1777 – Battle of Paoli (Paoli Massacre) (September 20)
- 1777 – British occupation of Philadelphia (September 26)
- 1777 – Battle of Germantown (October 4)
- 1777 – Two Battles of Saratoga (September 19 and October 7) conclude with the surrender of the British army under General Burgoyne.
- 1777 – Battle of Red Bank (October 22)
- 1777 – Articles of Confederation adopted by the Second Continental Congress (November 15)
- 1777 – Battle of White Marsh (December 5 – December 8)
- 1777 – Battle of Matson's Ford (December 11)
- 1777–1778 – Continental Army in winter quarters at Valley Forge (December 19 – June 19)
- 1778 – Treaty of Alliance with France (February 6)
- 1778 – Battle of Barren Hill (May 20)
- 1778 – British occupation of Philadelphia ends (June)
- 1778 – Battle of Monmouth (June 28)
- 1778–1779 – Continental Army in winter quarters at Middlebrook encampment (November 30 – June 3)
- 1779 – Battle of Stony Point (July 16)
- 1779 – Battle of Paulus Hook (August 19)
- 1779–1780 – Continental Army in winter quarters at Morristown (December–May)
- January 28 – A stockade known as Fort Nashborough is founded on the banks of the Cumberland River.Two years later the site is renamed Nashville.
- February 1 – Some 8,000 British forces under General Henry Clinton arrive in Charleston, South Carolina, from New York.
- February 1 – New York cedes to Congress its western claims, including territory west of Lake Ontario. In 1792 New York will sell the Erie Triangle to Pennsylvania
- March 14 – Bombardment of Fort Charlotte: After a two-week siege, Spanish general, colonial governor of Louisiana, and Viceroy of New Spain Bernardo de Gálvez captures Fort Charlotte, taking the port of Mobile (in present-day Alabama) from the British. Fort Charlotte was the last remaining British frontier post capable of threatening New Orleans in Spanish Louisiana. Its fall drove the British from the western reaches of West Florida and reduced the British military presence in West Florida to its capital, Pensacola.
- April 8 – Siege of Charleston: British Army troops under General Henry Clinton and naval forces under Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot besiege Charleston, South Carolina. British ships sail past Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to occupy Charleston Harbor. Washington will order reinforcements to Charleston, but the city falls on May 12 in what is arguably the worst American defeat of the war.
- May 6 – Siege of Charleston: Fort Moultrie falls to the British.
- May 12 – Siege of Charleston: American General Benjamin Lincoln surrenders Charleston to the British. The British lose 255 men while capturing a large American garrison.
- May 29 – Battle of Waxhaws: A clash between Continental Army forces under Abraham Buford and a mainly Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton occurs near Lancaster, South Carolina in the Waxhaws area (close to present-day Buford). The British destroyed the American forces.
- June 6 – Battle of Connecticut Farms
- June 23 – Battle of Springfield. With the attempted British invasion of New Jersey was stopped at Connecticut Farms and Springfield, major fighting in the North ends.
- September 23 – John André captured and the treason of Benedict Arnold is exposed
- October 7 – Battle of Kings Mountain
- January 17 - Battle of Cowpens
- March 1 – Articles of Confederation ratified
- March 15 – Battle of Guilford Court House
- September 5 - Battle of the Chesapeake
- September 8 - Battle of Eutaw Springs
- October 19 – The British surrender at Yorktown
- December 31 – Bank of North America chartered
- February 27 – The British House of Commons votes against further war, informally recognizing American independence.
- December 14 – British evacuate Charles Town, South Carolina
- September 3 – The Treaty of Paris (1783) ends the American Revolutionary War
- November 25 – The British evacuate New York, marking the end of British rule, and General George Washington triumphantly returns with the Continental Army.
- "The state of Frankland," later known as Franklin, secedes from North Carolina
- Treaty of Hopewell (November 28)
- Congress refuses admission of Franklin to the Union
- Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia
- Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ratify the constitution
- North Carolina reconquers Franklin, which ceases to exist.
- Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York ratify the constitution
- United States presidential election, 1789
- Constitution goes into effect
- George Washington is inaugurated as President in New York City
- The First United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act of 1789 and Hamilton tariff
- Jay–Gardoqui Treaty
- November 21 – North Carolina becomes the 12th state to ratify the Constitution, with a vote of 194–77
- 1790 – Rhode Island and Providence Plantations becomes the 13th state to ratify the Constitution, with a vote of 34–32 (May 29)
- Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard Alan Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (5 vol. 2006)
- Morris, Richard B. Encyclopedia of American History (7th ed. 1996)