1765-1799 in a Nutshell

1754-1763   French and Indian War between the British and the French and their allies by which the victorious British acquire Canada and all land east of the Mississippi River (except for New Orleans). Part of a larger conflict called the Seven Years War (1756-1763).
1763   In the Proclamation of 1763, the British declare the western frontier closed to settlement.
1765   The Stamp Act imposes a direct tax on colonists to offset British war debts. Protesting “taxation without representation,” colonists organize the Sons of Liberty, meet in the Stamp Act Congress, and refuse to buy British goods.
1766   Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, but reaffirms its right to legislate for and tax the colonies.
1767   The Townshend Acts levy new taxes to pay the costs of governing and protecting the colonies.
1768   Boston is occupied by the British.
1770   Parliament repeals the Townshend duties, except for the tax on tea.
  The Boston Massacre occurs.
1773   The tea tax is reduced, but Britain grants a monopoly on the sale of tea to the East India Company, causing further resentment.
  The Boston Tea Party.
1774   Parliament passes the Coercive Acts to punish Boston.
  The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia.
1775   Violence erupts in Lexington and Concord between colonists and British soldiers, who try to seize rebel ammunition depots.
  Boston is under siege.
  The Second Continental Congress is convened; it names George Washington commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
  An American expedition to take Canada fails.
  The British attack on American fortifications at Bunker’s Hill and Breed’s Hill succeeds but the British suffer huge losses.
1776   The British evacuate Boston.
  Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is published.
  Congress approves the Declaration of Independence, which is publicly proclaimed throughout the colonies.
1776   The British attack New York. Washington retreats into New Jersey, leaving the British in control of the city.
  In a surprise attack on December 26, Washington crosses the Delaware and captures Trenton from a Hessian force.
1777   States draw up their constitutions.
  Patriots are defeated in the battle of Brandywine.
  The British occupy Philadelphia.
  American forces defeat British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.
  The patriot army winters at Valley Forge.
1778   France agrees to an alliance with the United States.
  The British abandon Philadelphia and return to New York.
  Savannah falls to the British.
1779   American General Benedict Arnold turns traitor.
1780   Charleston is taken by the British.
1781   The Articles of Confederation are adopted.
  British General Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.
1782   The preliminary treaty of peace is agreed to in Paris.
1783   The definitive Treaty is signed.
  The British army evacuates New York.
  Washington resigns his commission and bids farewell to his troops.
1786-1787   The United States suffers from a postwar economic depression.
  Shays’s Rebellion takes place in Massachusetts.
1787   A Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia.
  Delegates propose and agree to a new Constitution.
1788   New York City becomes the temporary capital of the United States.
  Nine states ratify the Constitution ensuring its adoption.
1789   A new government is elected and takes effect.
  Washington is inaugurated as president.
  The French Revolution begins.
1790   Philadelphia named temporary capital of the United States until a new capital, called Washington, is built on a site on the Potomac.
1791   American General Arthur St. Clair and his forces are defeated by Indians in Ohio.
  The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified.
1795   Jay’s Treaty with Britain is ratified in spite of much opposition.
1797   John Adams becomes the second president.
1798   The Alien and Sedition laws are passed.
1798-1800   In spite of troubles with France, war is averted.
1799   George Washington dies at Mount Vernon.

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