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Parent Category: 18th Century History Articles
Category: Timelines
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The 18th Century History website presents the American Revolution timeline, where you can view the events of the the Revolution by months, days, and years.

 

1761

24 February - James Otis gives a four hour speech against the Writs of Assistance

October - George III becomes King of England

1763

The Seven Years war ends with the Treaties of Paris and Hubertusburg.

9 May - Fort Detroit attacked by Pontiac, thus beginning Pontiac's Rebellion. (Ends 1766)

7 October - The Royal Proclamation by King George III, limits American Colonial expansion to the East of the Appellation Mountains.

1764

Sugar Act passed by Parliament to offset expenses of the French and Indian War and to maintain England's newly acquired territories.

The Currency Act passed by Parliament. Prevents the colonies from issuing their own form of legal tender.

May- James Otis raises the issue of taxation without representation in a Boston town meeting.

July- James Otis publishes "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved."

August - Boston merchants begin to boycott British luxury goods.

1765

22 March - The Stamp Act is passed by the British Parliament.

24 March --The Quartering Act: required the colonies to provided barracks and supplies to British troops.

29 May - Virginia's Resolutions on the Stamp Act

6 June - The Massachusetts House of Representatives resolves to propose an inter-colonial meeting to resist the Stamp Act.

7 - 25 October - The Stamp Act Congress meets in New York City, New York.

19 October - Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress.

20 December - James Otis delivers an oration against the Stamp Act before the Governor and Council in Boston.

1766

January-- Resistance to the Quartering Act in New York

18 March - Repeal of the Stamp Act

18 March - The Declaratory Act. Parliament asserts its right to make laws binding on the Colonies.

 

1767

The Townshend Duties go into effect.

Non-Importation: The colonist protest the new taxes by agreeing to stop importing British goods.

1768

11 February -- Massachusetts Circular Letter

10 June - The Sloop "Liberty" owned by John Hancock was seized in Boston Harbor for Revenue Law violations by customs officials.

October - British Troops arrive in Boston to enforce the customs laws.

1769

At the beginning of this year all thirteen colonies became united to and determined to preserve their liberties at all costs.


1770

Townshend Acts repealed except the tax on tea

End to Non-Importation

New York Riot over the Quartering Act compliance of New York Assembly.

5 March - The Boston Massacre. Crispus Attucks, the first Black American Patriot, is killed in this incident.

1771

May 16-- Battle of Alamance fought in Burlington, North Carolina

1772

Attack on the "Gaspee" - This was a British customs schooner that was burned by Rhode Island colonists off Namequoit Point. Known today as the Gaspee Affair.

Sam Adams pressures the Boston Town Meeting to set up the "Committee of Correspondence" to state the colonies’ rights and grievances.

John Sevier organizes independent Republic of Watauga in Tennessee

1773

To save the bankrupt British East India Company, Parliament passes the Tea Act.

5 November - The Boston Town Meeting Resolutions against the Tea Act

16 December - The Boston Tea Party: 342 chests of tea are dumped into Boston Harbor.

31 December - Samuel Adams gives an account of the Boston Tea Party in a letter to Arthur Lee.

1774

January - Benjamin Franklin is reprimanded and humiliated by the Privy Council for leaking the letters of the Massachusetts Governor, Thomas Hutchinson.

28 March - The Coercive Acts are passed by Parliament. These acts are known as The Boston Port Act,The Massachusetts Government Act, The Administration of Justice Act, The Quartering Act and the Quebec Act.

31 March - The Kingdom of Great Britain orders the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act. It would remain closed until the destroyed tea was paid for by those responsible.

Virginia Conventions begin.

25 August - The first popular Assembly called by the people, anywhere in North America, convened in defiance of British rule in Tyron Palace at New Bern, North Carolina.

5 September - The First Continental Congress opens for business.

7 October - The Quebec Act. This act grants the French Catholics of Quebec the right to freedom of Religion among other assurances.

14 October - Declaration and Resolves by the First Continental Congress-

20 October - First Continental Congress creates the Continental Association, which calls for a complete ban on all trade between America and Great Britain of all goods, wares or merchandise.

25 October - Congress petitions English king to address grievances

1775

New England Restraining Act: Parliament passed an act banning trade between the New England colonies and any other country besides Great Britain.

23 March - Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech by Patrick Henry

18 April - Paul Revere's Famous Midnight Ride (British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and other riders warn the countryside of the troop movements.)

19 April - The American Revolutionary War begins with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

20 April - The Siege of Boston Begins

5 May - The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia.

10 May - Fort Ticonderoga captured by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen.

10 May - The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia with John Hancock as president of Congress.

15 May - The Congress votes to go to war with Britain, George Washington is appointed the Commander of the Continental Army.

10 June -- John Adams proposed that Congress consider the forces in Boston a Continental army, and suggested the need for a general. He recommended George Washington for the position.

12 June - British general Thomas Gage declares martial law in Massachusetts. The British offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms. There would be only two exceptions to the amnesty: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.

16 June - Washington accepts promotion to General & Commander In Chief

17 June - Charlestown Massachusetts was burned down by the British.

17 June - Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed's)

22 June - The Continental Congress issues Continental Currency

30 June - Congress impugns Parliament and adopts Articles of War

1 July - Congress resolve to forge alliances with the Indians

3 July -- George Washington takes command of the Continental Army in Cambridge Massachusetts

5 July - Congress adopts The Olive Branch Petition

The Continental Congress searches for Foreign Aid

6 July - Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms

26 July - Postal system created. Benjamin Franklin is first Director.

August - The Invasion of Canada begins.

23 August - King George III issued the Proclamation of Rebellion.

13 October -The Continental Congress Creates the United States Navy

18 October  -  The Burning of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) prompts the Continental Congress to establish the Continental Navy.

24 October - British naval fleet attacks Norfolk, Virginia

27 October - King George III speaks to Parliament of American rebellion

28 October - British proclamation forbids residents from leaving Boston

30 October - Naval committee established by Congress

November - Virginia Governor, Lord Dunmore offers freedom to all slaves who would fight for the British.

7 November - Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, declares Martial Law

22 December - Congress named Esek Hopkins commodore of the fledgling American navy. Soon after, Congress authorized privateering, and issued rules for dealing with enemy vessels and plunder.

Virginians defeat British at Great Bridge; British bombard Norfolk

1776

2 January - The Continental Congress publishes The Tory Act.

14 February - Common Sense written by Thomas Paine.

27 February - Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, North Carolina.

17 March - Siege of Boston ends when the British pull out and sail for Halifax. The Continental Army is located on Dorchester Heights.

6 April - The Battle of Block Island: Ships of the Continental Navy fail in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

12 June - The Virginia Declaration of Rights adapted by the Virginia Convention. Drafted by George Mason

2 July - Declaration of Independence approved and signed by John Hancock, the other Delegates sign two days later.

4 July - The American Colonies declares Independence

8 July - The US Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time by Col. John Nixon in Philadelphia's Independence Square. The Liberty Bell in Independence Hall tolled after the reading. You Can Read The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America here.

July - British Troops land at New York harbor.

23 June - British Commodore Sir Peter Parker prepares a Naval strike on the Charleston, South Carolina coast.

28 June - Battle of Fort Moultrie

29 June - South Carolina's Edward Rutledge opposes Independence

27 August - Battle of Long Island, New York.

6 September - HMS Eagle attacked by David Bushnell's "Turtle". The Turtle was the first attack submarine in history. The pilot was Sgt. Ezra Lee.

15 September - The Battle of New York.

16 September - The Battle of Harlem Heights.

20 September - The Fire of New York.

11-13 October - The Battle of Valcour Island.

26 October - Benjamin Franklin sets sail for France,  he was to negotiate and secure a formal alliance and treaty.

28 October - The Battle of White Plains.

31 October - King speaks for first time since independence declared

14 December - Geary's Dragoons ambushed between the small villages of Flemings-Town (Flemington) and Ringoes.

23 December - The American Crisis written by Thomas Paine.

26 December - Battle of Trenton, New Jersey.

1777

Congress adopts the American flag with thirteen stars and stripes

3 January - The Battle of Princeton

20 January - The Battle of Millstone, near Somerset Courthouse, New Jersey.

27 February - Battle of Moores Creek Bridge.

25 April - Danbury, Connecticut destroyed by British forces led by General Tryon.

Burgoyne's invasion from Canada begins. It ended in failure at the Battle of Saratoga.

5 July - Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga, The Marques De Lafayette arrives in America.

7 July - Battle of Hubbardton, Vermont

9 July - New York elects its first governor

10 July - British General Richard Prescott captured in Rhode Island

27 July - The Jane McCrea atrocity

2 - 22 August - Battle of Fort Stanwix 

6 August The Battle of Oriskany

16 August - Battle of Bennington, Vermont.

3 September - Battle of Cooch's Bridge.  The American Flag was flown for the first time during this battle.

11 September - Battle of Brandywine Creek

19 September - Battle of Freeman's Farm

20-21 September - The Paoli Massacre

26 September - British Occupy Philadelphia

4 October - Battle of Germantown

6 October - Sir Henry Clinton leads British forces in the capture of Continental Army Hudson River defenses in the Battle of Forts Clinton and Montgomery.

7 October - Battle of Bemis Heights

19 October - The Battle of Saratoga , where General Burgoyne surrenders to General Horatio Gates.

22 October - 15 November The Battle of Fort Mercer.

23 October - British fleet suffers defeat at Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania

29 October - Hancock resigns as president of Congress

15 November - The Articles of Confederation written.

Philadelphia is captured by the British

Washington's Army retreats to Valley Forge

Conway Cabal

1778

6 February - Treaty of Paris signed by France and the United States. This treaty turns the American Revolution into a World War.

Savannah Georgia is Captured by the British

18 March -  The Battle of Quinton's Bridge

21 March - Massacre at Hancock’s Bridge

12 May - General Benjamin Lincoln, surrenders Charlestown South Carolina to the British

28 June - Battle of Monmouth Courthouse.

30 September -- Battle of Edgar's Lane takes place near Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, a small village 20 miles north of Manhattan island.

1779

British surrender to Americans at Vincennes

John Paul Jones, in Bon Homme Richard, defeats Pearson, in the Battle of the Serapis

Spain joins the French to fight the British

16 July - Battle of Stony Point

18 October - American Revolutionary War: The Franco-American Siege of Savannah is lifted.

21 October - Henry Laurens named minister to Holland

 


1780

12 May - Charlestown, South Carolina captured by the British

16 August - Gates defeated by Cornwallis at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.

23 September - Benedict Arnold's Plot to Hand over West Point to the British discovered.

2 October - Major Andre, hanged for his part in the Arnold Treason.

7 October - Battle of Kings Mountain. Patrick Ferguson is Killed in this British defeat.

Rochambeau arrives with a French Force of 5,500 men to assist the Americans in their cause.

1781

Articles of Confederation go into effect; were drafted in 1777

Robert Morris becomes the Superintendent of Finance in the Continental Congress.

French Admiral de Grasse arrives with his powerful French fleet in American waters.

17 January - The Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina.

15 March - Battle of Guilford Courthouse. This is a costly victory for the British despite the fact that they won.

25 April - Battle of Hobkirk's Hill.

8–12  May The Siege of Fort Motte, South Carolina. Editor's Note: Fort Motte (Fort Motte Station) was a plantation commandeered by the British as a temporary military outpost in what is now South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War. See This post on our Facebook page about Fort Motte

22 May - 20 June - Siege of Ninety - Six

General Nathaniel Greene pacifies the interior of South Carolina and Georgia by driving out the British forces.

6 September -  British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, a former Patriot officer already infamous and much maligned for betraying the United States the previous year, adds to his notoriety by ordering his British command to burn New London, Connecticut.

8 September - Battle of Eutaw Springs

28 September - The Battle of Yorktown begins.

6 - 20 October Siege of Yorktown- Cornwallis surrenders to the Americans that ends the War for Independence.

1782

19 April - John Adams secures the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first Diplomatic missions of the United States (American embassy).

30 November - Provisional Peace;  In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

 

1783

15 March - Newburgh Conspiracy: George Washington stops a revolt among his officer corps by simply taking a pair of glasses out of his pocket to read a letter.

15 April - Preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War are ratified.

June - Most of the Continental Army disbands

Loyalists and British evacuate New York. The Loyalist began to evacuate in April of that year and the British would finally be gone by November.

Pennsylvania soldiers march on Congress and surround Independence Hall to protest their condition. The members of Congress escape to Princeton, New Jersey.

September 3, 1783 - The Paris Peace Treaty officially ends the American Revolution.

4 December - George Washington bids farewell to his Officers in New York. He is reportedly to have said to his officers, "I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but shall be obliged to you if each will come and take me by the hand."

23 December - George Washington gives up his command of the Continental Army and retires to Mount Vernon.

1786

Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts forcibly closes court systems

Annapolis Convention concludes September 14, suggests Philadelphia Convention

1787

25 May - 17 September Constitutional Convention opens. The United States Constitution framed, sent to Congress and states by the delegates of the convention.

13 July - Northwest Ordinance adopted by Continental Congress

28 September -- The newly completed Constitution Of The United States Of America is voted on by the Congress of the United States. It is then sent to the State Legislatures for the Ratification process.

Federalist Papers begin publication in newspapers

1788

New Hampshire is 9th state to ratify Constitution. It is now the law

First settlement in Ohio is Marietta, named for Marie Antoinette

1789

French Revolution. Bastille falls Jul 14. Declaration of Rights Aug 26th

George Washington & John Adams elected as first President and Vice President

The Judiciary Act specifies numbers of Federal courts and judges

25 September -- The Congress of the United States passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution, 10 of these amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

2 October -- George Washington sends the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification. 

1791

15 December - The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, becomes a part of the United States Constitution.