Road to American Independence

The events and acts on this timeline show some of the reasons for the start of the Revolutionary War.


French and Indian War/ 7 Years War

1754 - 1763

War between Great Britian and France. Disputes over the frontiers of the colonial lands of each in North America.

Committees of Correspondence

1763 - 1775

As tensions between Great Britain and the colonists grow, the Committees of Correspondence made sure that each colony was aware of the events and opinions happening in the other colonies. Rasied colonists spirits and united them.

Proclamation of 1763


Banned settlement in certain western lands to reduce tensions between Native Americans and colonists. This was to withdraw the British Army and save money. Colonists were denied the right to property.

Sugar Act of 1764


Stop the smuggling of goods into and out of the colonies. Gave the British navy more authority to search colonial ships. Set taxes on sugar, cloth, coffee, and wine coming into the colonies.

Writs of Assistance


Quartering Act


British law required colonial innkeepers and public officials to house and feed British soldiers.

Stamp Act


Law that put a tax on every legal document, newspaper, pamphlet and playing cards coming into the colonies. No one in the colonies could vote or voice their opinion on the matter in front of Parliment.

Sons and Daughters of Liberty


Sons of Liberty organized resistance to the Stamp Act. Daughters of Liberty boycotted British trade. They spun their own yarn to make cloth.

Declaratory Act


Parliment had the right to pass laws for the colonies in "all cases whatsoever" to show the power of the King and Parliment was more powerful than the colonial government.

Boston Massacre


British troops opened fire on protestors- 5 people died. Showed the British would use military force to enforce the laws (at least that is what many colonists thoughts)

"No Taxation Without Representation"

1773 - 1774

The laws passed by Parliment the previous years were viewed by colonists as oppressive and threats to their rights. They thought the colonial legislatures should be the authority on taxation. This phrase became a rallying cry.

Boston Tea Party


Colonists attempt to prevent the unloading of tea at Boston Harbor. Opened 342 chests of tea and dumped it into the harbor. The British closed the harbor to all trade.

Tea Act


Law made the East India Company (controlled by the British government-Merchantilism) the only seller of tea in the colonies, keeping the company from going broke.

First Continental Congress


Colonists wanted representatives to talk about the interests of the colonies. The First Continental Congress was made up of 12 of the 13 Colonies and started a unified American Government.

Second Continental Congress


After Lexington and Concord, the Congress organized the Army, called on the colonies to send troops (militia), made George Washington General of the Army, and started work on the Declaration of Independence.

Lexington and Concord

19 April 1775

British march on these two towns to seize hidden guns and supplies. The American minutemen met the British and "the shot heard round the world" was fired. This was the starting point of the American Revolutionary War.

Declaration of Independence

4 Jul 1776

Explains the reasons for the colonists desire to become independent of Great Britain. Uses ideas from the Enlightment such as Locke's natural rights.

Articles of Confederation


First constitution of the country. States had more power than the Federal government- much different from Constitutional monarchy or monarchy.