American Revolution

1763 - 1776


Proclamation Line of 1763

October 7, 1763

The Proclamation Line was put in place by the British government after the French & Indian War, as part of their ongoing attempt to consolidate colonial holdings. The Line followed the Appalachian mountain range, and served as a definitive border which Britain would defend. Any colonists settled to the west of the Line were considered outside of the protection of the government. This irked colonists, who wanted the freedom to settle and claim land anywhere in the United States and resented any attempt on the part of the British to control or restrict them.

Stamp Act

March 22, 1765 - March, 1766

The Stamp Act required colonists to purchase specially marked paper for newspapers, legal forms, wills, and other documents. Resentful of the powers that forced these expenses on them, colonists were spurred by the Stamp Act to more forceful protest.

Circular Letter

February, 1768

Massachusetts legislature drafted a letter in response to the Townshend Acts, and sent it out to every other colonial legislature. Most colonial legislatures acted indifferently, but the British government overreacted, regarding the letters as threats. Their reaction actually promoted more resistance in the colonies, and if they had not overreacted, it is estimated that resistance may have dissipated in the colonies.

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770

In the Boston Massacre, civilians protesting the way they had been treated by British soldiers occupying the city were fired upon by British soldiers. Five died, and six more were wounded. The massacre contributed greatly to the growth of anti-British sentiment in the colonies.

Boston Tea Party

December 16, 1773

In response to the tea act, which made taxed tea in competition with smuggled tea for a low price and raised British revenue, a group of colonists raided a British ship carrying tea, and hauled the goods overboard in an act of protest.

Intolerable/Coercive Acts Passed

March 28, 1774

The four Coercive Acts were passed in response to the Boston Tea Party, to punish and control colonists, especially those in Massachusetts. The acts closed Boston Harbor and put the government of Massachusetts into the hands of a British governor, revoking colonists' preexisting system of elected officials and town meetings, which had allowed for an element of representative democracy. The acts also adjusted court systems so that British soldiers who were accused of crimes (often aggression against colonists, like in the Boston Massacre) while on duty could be tried by British courts instead of colonial ones. Finally, the acts expanded on the Quartering Act, allowing soldiers stationed in the colonies to claim certain buildings for their own use. These acts infuriated already-angry colonists, who felt that Britain was stripping away their trade rights, their right to self-governance, their right to private property, and allowing their soldiers to get away with murder by giving them trials in courts that would be biased in their favor.

First Continental Congress

September 5, 1774

After the Intolerable Acts, every colony (with the exception of Georgia) sent representatives to a Continental Congress, held in Philadelphia. Fifty six men, many of whom were well-known politicians, worked together in order to find a way to defend the rights of the colonists from Britain.

Battles Of Lexington & Concord

April 19, 1775

The first battle of the American Revolution

"Common Sense"

January 10, 1776


"Common Sense" was a pamphlet written by pro-Revolution activist Thomas Paine. Published in 1776, it swayed the portion of general public who had until then been hesitant about joining or supporting the rebellious colonists' cause.

Declaration Of Independence

July 4, 1776

A committee of five men drafted the statement that declared and justified America's separation from England.