Key Events in the American Revolution

Timeline created by qc15.dstark
In History
  • Battle of Lexington and Concord

    Battle of Lexington and Concord
    The British were sent to seize the weapons and gunpowder that the colonists had been secretly collecting and hiding. However, Paul Revere warned the colonists that the British were coming, and many small militias grabbed their guns and prepared to fight. When the British arrived, the colonists were ready, and they successfully drove the British out. As they traveled the 16 miles back to Boston, the British were getting shot at the entire way by angry colonists: the American revolution had begun.
  • Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

    Capture of Fort Ticonderoga
    Samuel Adams predicted that the British would take a certain route when they came to isolate New England that would go through Canada. However, the Americans did not have much Canadian support, so they decided to attack Fort Ticonderoga. They decided this because it was placed at a strategic point, contained heavy artillery, and it was lightly guarded. Jonathan Trumball and Benedict Arnold launched a surprise attack, and no shots were fired. The Americans had finally gained some control.
  • Second Continental Congress Meets

    Second Continental Congress Meets
    The second Continental Congress meeting took place in Philadelphia. At this point, New England militia had formed an army around Boston, and the Congress had to decide who would be in charge of this army. However, John Adams suggested they create a “continental army” with troops from all the colonies, as opposed to troops from just New England. They still had to appoint a commander-in-chief, and John Adams nominated George Washington, a skilled general who could unite the colonies.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    Israel Putnam led a few hundred militiamen up Breed’s Hill. In four hours they had a crude fort. William Howe then ordered his newly arrived troops to launch an immediate attack. As the British drew closer, the militiamen waited until they were nearly on top of them to fire. The sudden shots made the redcoats fall back in confusion. It took until the third attack for the British to finally reach the top of the hill, but this was because the Americans had run out of gunpowder.Many British died.
  • Battle of Quebec

    Battle of Quebec
    Washington and the Continental Congress had decided they wanted to seize Quebec in order to gain forces from the French-Canadians there. However, the city was being protected by British defenders. The plan was to split the Continental Army in two and attack from different points. One army, under General Richard Montgomery, would attack from New York. The other would begin in Massachusetts and go all the way to Canada. However, the British were ready and it ended in hasty american retreat.
  • Declaration of Independence Issued

    Declaration of Independence Issued
    Shortly after the British flee from Boston, the Continental Congress created a committee to write a declaration of independence. Thomas Jefferson, the youngest of the committee, was put in charge of drafting the document. Jefferson’s simple explanation argued that everyone was born equal in the eyes of god, and therefore had the same rights. He also argued that King George III was “unfit to be the ruler of a free people” because he had committed so many acts of tyranny.
  • Battle of Long Island

    Battle of Long Island
    On August 27, 1776, the Americans battled the British in Brooklyn. The Americans began fighting with high spirits, but that was soon put to a stop as the superiorly trained British killed 1,407 of them. It was then that Howe ordered a halt on the attack because he believed Washington would retreat, However Washington did not want to give up. In the end, an officer named Thomas Mifflin deemed the situation hopeless, and they retreated.
  • British Occupy New York

    British Occupy New York
    After the battle for New York, the British drove out the rest of the Americans. Times were tough for the Continental Army because there was shortage of food, clothes, and men. As more were killed, more left as soon as their enlistment was up, and they urged people not to join the army for it was too risky.
  • Battle of Trenton/ Crossing the Delaware

    Battle of Trenton/ Crossing the Delaware
    On the night of December 25, 1776, Washington and his army crossed the icy Delaware River. Once on the shore of New Jersey, the army marched on to Trenton. Along the way it snowed hard, leaving all their guns soaked and useless. Washington ordered that they use the bayonets, because the city had to be taken. Once there, the Hessians, taken by complete surprise, surrendered, and Washington didn’t lose a single man. He then took 868 prisoners and 300 British troops. Now General Howe was worried.
  • Battle of Brandywine

    Battle of Brandywine
    The Battle of Brandywine took place on September 11, 1777. Washington knew that Howe was planning to take Philadelphia, so he stationed his men to block the British at the Brandywine River, as it was a good defensive position. This position was beneficial because the British outnumbered the Americans 13,000 to 11,000. The British attacked in a frontal assault, and then sent troops around to the American’s right flank to launch another attack.The British were too strong and they had to fall back.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    When Burgoyne’s army finally reached Saratoga Springs on the Hudson River, it was packed with Militia that easily outnumbered the small British army. Even so, Burgoyne ordered an attack, and after taking quite a beating, he surrendered on October17, 1777. This gave the patriots new confidence about the war.
  • Articles of Confederation Issued

    Articles of Confederation Issued
    Continental Congress needed to create a document that would serve as the law of the 13 free states.They put John Dickinson to the task. He proposed a strong central government, but their experience with Britain’s central government swayed them to give the states more independence.The Articles limited the functions of the federal government and took away the power to enforce requests for troops or money. However, it took several years to get ratification because of small disputes within states.
  • Encampment at Valley Forge

    Encampment at Valley Forge
    Washington took his army to Valley Forge to make camp for the winter. The cold weather was brutal, and there was a huge shortage in food and clothing. However, even though they lacked provisions, they grew stronger as Washington put a volunteer, Friedrich Von Steuben, in charge of training the men. Another volunteer named Marquis de Lafayette came to Valley Forge.He bought clothing for all the men. In the spring,the British would leave Philadelphia and Washington would test his new army.
  • France becomes an ally

    France becomes an ally
    France became an ally of the United States in May 1778. Their government sent money, weapons, troops, and warships to the Continental army. In addition, Spain began a fight against the British as well. Things were turning around for the Americans.
  • Battle of Monmouth Courthouse

    Battle of Monmouth Courthouse
    General Howe was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton, who believed that capturing Philadelphia had gained the British nothing. Clinton ordered a retreat to New York City, where the Royal Navy could send supplies by sea. On June 28, the Americans caught up with the retreating British near Monmouth, New Jersey. In the following battle, Washington rallied his men to stand and fight. That night, the British escaped across the Hudson to New York City. No one realized that the war in the North was over.
  • Seige of Charleston

    Seige of Charleston
    The war was over in the north, and the British thought there were loyalists in the south waiting to help.So, they decided to take Charleston, SC. The British were confident and American General Lincoln was under a lot of pressure to maintain control of the city. Clinton set sail for SC to cut off the American's resources. After they had done so, they demanded surrender. Eventually Lincoln did, and the British had gained control over much of the Southern Colonies.
  • Benedict Arnold's treason is discovered

    Benedict Arnold's treason is discovered
    Benedict Arnold, a past General in the Continental Army, is known more for his treason when he relinquished his command of West Point to the British. In return for this, he was given a large payment and a position as a General in the British Army. On September 21, British Major Andre came to finalize this agreement, but was stranded once The Vulture was fired upon by the Americans, and was forced to head away. He then had to go into town, but was captured. Arnold's treason was discovered.
  • French and British Battle in Chesapeake Bay

    French and British Battle in Chesapeake Bay
    As Cornwallis moved his army to Yorktown, Washington set a trap for him. He stationed all his American and French troops around the city, and along the Chesapeake Bay to seal it off. This prevented the British from any rescue by sea. Eventually the two armies opened fire.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    5500 French soldiers docked in Rhode Island to help their American allies against the British in New York City. With additional help from the French West Indies fleet led by Comte De Grasse, the combined armies began to move toward Yorktown, Virginia.They spread false information that they were planning a siege of New York City, as to catch them off guard. De Grasse sailed to the Chesapeake Bay and set up a naval blockade.Meanwhile Washington and Rochambeau surrounded Cornwallis and opened fire.
  • Cornwallis Surrenders

    Cornwallis Surrenders
    Eventually after being weakened so significantly, Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms, which resulted in two days of negotiations. Then, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19th, though he was not there because he claimed to be ill. After losing 8,000 soldiers, Britain began negotiations with America to end the conflict. Two years later, the Treaty of Paris was established.
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    Timeline of the American Revolution

    A timeline featuring key events that took place during the American Revolution.