The French and Indian War 1754-63 War fought between Great Britain and its two enemies, the French and the Indians of North America. American colonists, including George Washington, fought with the British in this war, which lasted from 1754 to 1763. The British won the war.
The Sugar Act 1764 1764 Act that put a three-cent tax on foreign refined sugar and increased taxes on coffee, indigo, and certain kinds of wine. This was one of the first instances in which colonists wanted a say in how much they were taxed.
The Stamp Act 1765 First direct British tax on American colonists. Every newspaper, pamphlet, and other public and legal document had to have a Stamp, or British seal, on it.
“If This Be Treason” Speech 1765 Fiery orator, Patrick Henry fought a tireless battle for American independence and is best known for his speech ending with, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" He was an outspoken critic of the Stamp Act.
The Townshend Acts 1765 Series of 1767 laws named for Charles Townshend. These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. Colonial reaction to these taxes was the same as to the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, and Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea.
Boston Massacre 1770 March 5, 1770, five Americans colonists were killed by British soldiers. The Boston Massacre deepened American distrust of the British military presence in the colonies.
The Boston Tea Party Angry and frustrated at a new tax on tea, American colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and disguised as Mohawk Native Americans boarded three British ships and dumped 342 whole crates of British tea into Boston harbor.
The First Continental Congress 1774 The Continental Congress created the Continental Army and named George Washington as commander-in-chief. The Congress continued through the summer. Out of the discussions came the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Marines Corps.
The Treaty of Paris Treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783. It was signed in Paris by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay. Under the terms of the treaty, Britain recognized the independent nation of the United States of America.
The Constitution 1787 Document detailing our form of government. Ratified by a majority of states and declared in effect in 1787. James Madison insisted on a Bill of Rights, which became the First Ten Amendments.