U.S. History Timeline: Colonial America - 1600–1799
Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Timeline: Colonial America - 1600-1799
Read about major events in U.S. History from 1600–1799, including the Mayflower Compact, Boston Massacre, American Revolution, and more.
May 14 o.s.
- Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, is established by the London Company in southeast Virginia.
July 30 o.s.
- The House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America, meets for the first time in Virginia. The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown.
Dec. 11 o.s.
- The Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts is established by Pilgrims from England.
- Before disembarking from their ship, the Mayflower, 41 male passengers sign the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that forms the basis of the colony's government.
- Colonial population is estimated at 50,400.
- English seize New Amsterdam (city and colony) from the Dutch and rename it New York.
- Britain and the British colonies switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar
Sept. 13, 1759
Feb. 10, 1763
- With the Treaty of Paris, the British formally gain control of Canada and all the French possessions east of the Mississippi.
- Boston Massacre: British troops fire into a mob, killing five men and leading to intense public protests.
Sept. 5 – Oct. 26
April 19, 1775
- American Revolution: War of independence fought between Great Britain and the 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America. Battles of Lexington and Concord, Mass., between the British Army and colonial minutemen, mark the beginning of the war.
Dec. 19, 1777 – June 19, 1778
- Battle-weary and destitute Continental army spends brutally cold winter and following spring at Valley Forge, Pa.
Oct. 19, 1781
Sept. 3, 1783
- Great Britain formally acknowledges American independence in the Treaty of Paris, which officially brings the war to a close.
- Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
- Continental Congress approves the first official flag of the United States.
- Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, the first U.S. constitution.
- Shays's Rebellion erupts; farmers from New Hampshire to South Carolina take up arms to protest high state taxes and stiff penalties for failure to pay.
- George Washington is unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors.
- U.S. Constitution goes into effect, having been ratified by nine states.
- U.S. Congress meets for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City.
- Washington is inaugurated as president at Federal Hall in New York City.
- U.S. Supreme Court meets for the first time at the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City.
- The court, made up of one chief justice and five associate justices, hears its first case in 1792.
- The nation's first census shows that the population has climbed to nearly 4 million.
- First ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified.
- Washington's second inauguration is held in Philadelphia.
- Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
- John Adams is inaugurated as the second president in Philadelphia.
U.S. History Timeline: Pre-Colonial - Before 1600 U.S. History Timeline: A New Nation - 1800–1849
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