Important Events Leading up to the Formation of the United States of America

Timeline created by ChristiZ
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    Placed limits on the absolute power of the king and made him subject to the law. It is considered to be the beginning of constitutional government in England.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America. It was where the United States of American really began. It started a series of cultural encounters that helped shape our nation and the world.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    This was the first example of many colonial plans for self government. It was a temporary government based on majority rule and they agreed to choose their leaders and make their own laws which they would agree to follow. This made a significant contribution to the creation of a new democratic nation.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    An important safeguard of civil liberties that was soon disreguarded by the king. It was based on earlier statutes and charters and asserted four principles: no taxation without the consent of Parliament, no imprisonment without cause, no quartering of soldiers on subjects, and no martial law in peacetime.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    Placed limits on the absolute power of the sovereign king. Also guaranteed unalienable rights to all citizens.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    The first important plan to concieve of the colonies as a collective whole united under one government. It attempted to establish the division between the executive and legislative branches of government while establishing a common governmental authority to deal with external relations.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    A new tax imposed on all American colonists which required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Even though the tax was relatively small, it was viewed as a direct attempt by England to raise money in the colonies without the approval of the colonial legislatures.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    Laws that were punishments on the colonies because of the Boston Tea Party. The Intolerable Acts were: Boston Port Bill, Administration of Justice Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Quartering Act, and the Quebec Act.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The culmination of tensions in the American colonies that had been growing since Royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts to enforce the heavy tax burden. Five colonists died that day; Crispus Attacks, an African American sailor, Samuel Gray, a worker at rope walk, James Caldwell, a mate on an American ship, Samuel Maverick, who was only seventeen years old, and Patrick Carr, a feather maker.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The first event that set the colonists into action and began the American Revolution. It was the patriot's response to the British attempt to put a tax on the tea.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Brought together representatives from each of the colonies except Georgia to discuss their response to the Intolerable Acts. The congress had three objectives: to compose a statement of colonial rights, to identify British parliaments violation of those rights, and to provide a plan that would convince Britain to restore those rights.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The beginning of our war for our independence. The people believed they were defending their natural rights as Englishmen to resist misguided and corrupt government officials and representatives. This was the beginning of creation of the United States of America.
  • Second Contintental Congress

    Second Contintental Congress
    Established the militia as the Continental Army to represent the thirteen states and elected George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. It was also responsible for statements of position, financing the war, legislation, diplomatic matters, and promoting independence.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Led to our independence from King George. It listed the grievances against the British and gave us the right to go to war against England. It is regarded as the best-written statement of individual rights in history.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The first attempt at establishing a national government in the New World. It showed the wariness of the people of a strong national government.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Farmers hit by the economic depression after the American Revolution petitioned the state senate to issue paper money and to stop foreclosure of mortgages on their property and their imprisonment for debt from high land taxes. When the senate refused to reform, Daniel Shays led others and forcibly prevented courts from making judgements for foreclosures. This caused the men who fought or funded the American Revolution to reconsider the revolution and its principles
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    Delegates from the various states met in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation and establish America as a stronger nation. Eventually, they created a new stronger government and a new Constitution.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    Also known as the Philadelphia Convention. The result of the convention was the United States Constitution.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    A compromise between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. It created two houses in Congress: The House of Representatives and the Senate.