Raleigh’s ill-fated English colony at Roanoke (1585-158?)
1588  The English defeat of the Spanish Armada organized by Queen Elizabeth
1591  Relief ship arriving at Roanoke finds no settlers
  1600s Jamestown:  The first successful English settlement in the New World
1606   King James I of England creates the Virginia Company - (both in London and Plymouth)
1607   Jamestown is established along the James River in Virginia (1607) in Powhatan territory
1608   John S
mith establishes work discipline on the Virginia settlers in order to save the colony
          The despised Separatists ("Pilgrims") of Scrooby (northern England) begin to flee to Holland        
          The French establish their first American colony at Quebec
1609-1610  Virginia's "starving time"
  1610s The Jamestown settlement begins to take on its specific Virginia "character"
1612   John Rolfe begins the successful/profitable cultivation of tobacco in Virginia
1618   Chief Powhatan dies - his anti-English brother Opechancanough becomes chief
1619   The first African indentured servants arrive in Virginia
           Representatives of local Virginia communities gather as the House of Burgesses at Jamestown
  1620s The Separatists' (Pilgrims') Plymouth Colony is established in New England; religious
            persecution in England increases; Virginia experiences the first Indian War

1620   With permission from James I and financial backing from London investors ('adventurers'), the
             Pilgrims sail on the Mayflower to America - arriving north of Virginia in the "New England"
      territory; possessing no specific land grant for the place ("Plymouth") where they are forced to
             settle, the Pilgrims themselves draw up an agreement for self-government: The Mayflower

1621   Despite a deadly winter and early spring, half the colony survives - and  celebrates  a Thanksgiving
             for its "success" with its Indian friends: Squanto, Massasoit and braves from the Wampanoag tribe
          William Bradford is repeatedly elected to the one-year term of Governor of the Plymouth Colony.
1622   Opechancanough leads the first Indian war in Virginia
1623   A small English commercial settlement is located at Cape Ann (Massachusetts)
1624   The Dutch establish Fort Orange up the Hudson River at present-day Albany
1625   The Dutch establish New Netherland with New Amsterdam (lower Manhattan) as its center
           James I dies; his son Charles I becomes king; he is even less tolerant of religious "dissenters"
1628   The Massachusetts Bay Company (heavily Puritan) secures a grant from the king to
             establish colonial settlements in New England; the first Puritan settlement is at Salem
  1630s Thousands of Puritans join the Pilgrims in New England; Maryland is founded for Catholics
1630   John Winthrop leads 11 ships and 700 Puritan settlers in a move to Massachusetts in 1630;
             20,000 more ("the Great Migration") will arrive in Massachusetts over the next ten years
1634   "Freemen" in Massachusetts begin to elect their officers annually to the General Court; The
            Calverts found a colony for English Catholics (and others) in Maryland
1635   Puritans begin to pour into the Connecticut River valleyThomas Hooker takes a group of
            religious dissenters to found the town of Hartford; Puritan 'purist' Roger Williams dissents from
            the Massachusetts authorities and is expelled
1636   Williams establishes his Providence Colony (Rhode Island) along the Naragannsett Bay; he
            purchases the land from the local Indians and thus considers the colony his; no religious
            restrictions are placed on citizenship in his colony;
          Harvard college is founded - principally to train pastors
1637   A Pequot Indian uprising against Puritan settlers in the Connecticut Valley; 300+ settlers are killed;
            but it ends disastrously for the Indians (400 Pequots killed; the rest sold as slaves)
1638   Anne Hutchinson is expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1638); she takes up residence
            near Williams' Providence Colony [but soon moves on to the Hudson River frontier area - where
            she is killed in 1643 by local Indians]
1639   Hartford and two other towns establish their own colony and government - under The Fundamental
               Orders of Connecticut
- giving voting rights to a wider group of citizens; the New Haven colony
 (even stricter Puritan) is also founded in Connecticut
  1640s Virginia, Maryland and the New England colonies settle in

1642-1649  The English Civil War (1642-1649) slows down immigration to America dramatically
1644   The General Court evolves into a 2-house legislature (by 1644): an upper house of the Governor and
                his Council and a lower House of Deputies elected by all male citizens of the Massachusetts Bay
1649   Charles I is executed (Jan) by order of Parliament
          Calvert grants the Toleration Act of 1649 for Maryland (to attract non-Catholic settlers)
  1650s  Chaotic political developments in England seem not to touch the colonies
1650-1660   England under the Puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell, bringing briefly to England a "republican"
             form of
 government (Parliament rules without a king) known as the Puritan Commonwealth
  1660s Charles II takes the English throne; grants American "proprietary" colonies to his supporters
1661   Virginia passes a law determining slave status based on the mother's slave status
1662   Massachusetts Puritans create the Halfway Covenant to gain church membership
1663   Charles grants wealthy friends the proprietary colony of Carolina
1664   The English defeat the Dutch and seize New Netherland; The Dutch colony is given to the King's
              brother James, Duke of York, thus becoming "New York";
          The Maryland Act of 1664 turns African indenture into permanent slavery
1665   James grants a portion of his New York colony to Carteret and Berkeley as New Jersey
  1670s The colonies suffer troubles from restless Indians and rebellious poor whites
1674-1682  Carteret and Berkeley sell sections of New Jersey to various proprietors, including Penn
1675   Chief Metacomet ("King Philip") leads his Wampanoag tribe in an anti-English uprising ("King Philip's
                 War") in New England; over 1000 settlers are killed;
1676   The uprising is crushed - with death or slavery for the Indians - and the end of the Wampanoag tribe
          "Bacon’s Rebellion" of English commoners against aristocratic authorities at Jamestown fails
1680s The idea of "human rights" grows both in England and in her northern American colonies
1681   Charles II grants Pennsylvania to the Quaker William Penn in compensation for a large debt
1682   Penn founds the carefully designed Philadelphia as his colony’s capital
1685   James, Duke of York, (and crypto-Catholic) assumes the English throne as James II
1688   Parliament rises up against James (beginning the "Glorious Revolution"); Dutch Protestant cousin                   William of Orange leads the military effort (1688-1689)
1689   Parliament calls William to the throne to co-rule with his wife (James's Protestant daughter) Mary;
              the co-monarchs accept the Whig-dominated Parliament's Declaration of Rights
          The philosopher John Locke writes the Two Treatises of Government justifying this action in
              terms of the "natural rights" of Englishmen and the implicit "social contract" between ruler and
              ruled - which the King had violated; (Jefferson will draw heavily from Locke's work in his drafting
              of the Declaration of Independence in 1776)
1688-1697   King Williams War erupts between the French and English, involving Indians on both sides
              (the fierce Iroquois as English allies; the Wabanaki Confederation as French allies)
  1690s French and Indian problems grow; the Puritan experiment is dying out in New England;
           "Enlightenment" comes to the colonies

1691   Massachusetts is forced to become a royal colony
1692   The Salem witch hysteria breaks out; 24 people put to death as witches or die in prison (1692)
1693   Boston authorities bring the event to a halt
          The College of William and Mary is founded in (Williamsburg) Virginia as the colonies' 2nd college
1696   Deist John Toland publishes Christianity Not Mysterious
1699   Jamestown burns again; Virginia’s capital is moved to Middle Plantation (renamed "Williamsburg")
  1700s Mounting problems with the French and Indians
1701-1713   Queen Anne's War [Europe: "War of Spanish Succession"]
1702   Mobile (Alabama) becomes the capital of the huge French territory of Louisiana
1704   The French-Indian massacre of the English settlement at Deerfield Massachusetts (Feb)
  1710s England comes under the Hanoverian dynasty - adding to the remoteness of the colonies

1712   Carolina makes slavery permanent
1713   The Treaty of Utrecht assigns French Canada’s Maritime provinces (Acadia) to the English; the war
              has left Spanish Florida in turmoil and depopulated much of the Indian lands in the South
1714   Hanoverian (German) George I becomes English King (1714-1727)
1718   A newly built New Orleans is established on the Mississippi as the capital of French Louisiana 
  1720s Life in the colonies is increasingly comfortable - with a consequent spiritual deadening
1717   Hanoverian George II becomes English King (1727-1760)
1729   A dispute between differing cultures splits Carolina into two colonies, North and South 
  1730s Georgia founded; the 1st Great Awakening erupts in reaction to Deistic rationalism 
1730   Deist Matthew Tindal publishes Christianity as Old as the Creation (1730)
1732   Georgia (notably Savannah) is founded by soldier, philanthropist James Oglethorpe as an
              experiment in social rehabilitation - and as an English buffer against Spanish raids coming from
1735   The 1st "Great Awakening" breaks out in Jonathan Edwards' congregation in Massachusetts
1738-1739   John Wesley and George Whitefield start up the Great Awakening in England
1739   Whitefield arrives in the colonies to carry forward the Great Awakening; Franklin, though a Deist,
            becomes a lifetime friend of Whitefield's
  1740s Once again hostilities among the European powers draw the colonies into their conflict
1740s  The Great Awakening gathers strength (first half of the 1740s) - then loses strength (second half)
           The "War of Jenkins' Ear" (mostly early 1740s) over the right of English to sell slaves to Spanish
              colonies; conflict between Georgia and Spanish Florida ends inconclusively
1744-1748   King George's War [Europe: "War of Austrian Succession"]; Americans take the initiative to
              seize the vital French fortress at Louisbourg (1745); in the final peace treaty, the English return
              the fort to the French ... deeply disappointing the Americans (1748)
1749-1754   The French build a number of forts in the Ohio Valley to stop the spread of the English
  1750s The French and Indian War [Europe: the "Seven Years' War"] erupts (1754-1763)

1750   Georgia ends Oglethorpe’s ban on slavery
1753   George Washington builds Fort Necessity (Southwestern Pennsylvania);
1754   ... but loses it to the French who build Fort Duquesne; The effort of English Gen. Braddock (with
              Washington) to take Fort Duquesne ends in disaster
          The Albany Congress meets to negotiate an alliance with the Iroquois; Benjamin Franklin proposes
              a plan (the Albany Plan) for permanent union - but the colonial assemblies fail to support the idea
1755   The English-French contest becomes global ... and total; The "Great Expulsion" (1755-1763) of
              11,500 French Acadians from the Maritime Provinces of Canada; 1600 Acadians (the "Cajuns")
              trek to the Gulf Coast bayous of lower Louisiana
1758-1759  the British take the French forts in Canada, and Quebec is seized
  1760s Economic and political tensions mount between England and the colonies 
1760   A young George III becomes English king, determined to hold his rule over the colonies tightly
1762   Spain enters the war on France's side; Spain loses Gibraltar, but is awarded the Louisiana
by the French (thus Spanish until 1802, when secretly given back to Napoleon's France)
1763   The French and Indian War ends; the Proclamation of 1763 prohibits English settlement west of
             the Appalachian Mountains; Pontiac leads a major Indian uprising ... which is crushed by Amherst
1765   In part in order to cover military expenses, the English Parliament passes the Quartering Act and
              the Stamp Act; the "Stamp Act Congress" gathers in New York City to appeal the Act
1766   Parliament repeals the Stamp Act
1767   ... but extends Parliament's mercantile control over the colonial economies with the Townshend
, taxes on imports to the colonies
1769   Four (subsequently just two) British regiments are sent to occupy a noncompliant Boston
  1770s Full-scale conflict breaks out between England and the colonies
1770   The "Boston Massacre" - British sentries at the Customs House fire on an angry crowd, killing 5
1772   "Committees of correspondence" are established to strengthen the unity of the colonies
1773   The British Tea Act of 1773 ... and the Boston "Tea Party"
1774   Parliament passes the "Intolerable (or "Coercive") Acts" in reprisal; the 1st Continental Congress
gathers in Philadelphia, passing the Suffolk Resolves and adopting the Declaration of Rights and
             Grievances.  George III: "The die is cast."
1775   Battles of Lexington and Concord occur (Apr) when Gage moves to seize colonial military supplies;
             the 2nd Continental Congress gathers (May) in Philadelphia; Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold
capture Fort Ticonderoga (May); the Battle of Bunker Hill is a mixed victory for the British (Jun);
             Washington is appointed (Jul) Commander of the Continental Army; Americans under Arnold and
             Daniel Morgan fail to capture Quebec (Dec) despite a valiant effort
          The Transylvania Company purchases a huge section of Kentucky from the Cherokee; Daniel Boone
             is  hired to lead settlers to the new territory via the  "Wilderness Road"; Boonesboro founded
1776   The Deist Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense (Jan); Henry Knox brings cannon from
             Fort Ticonderoga to Boston (Mar); the British vacate Boston (Mar); British efforts to take
             Charleston fail (Jun); Thomas Jefferson composes The Declaration of Independence (Jul);
             Washington's army escapes at Brooklyn Heights but loses New York to the British (Aug);
             Washington defeats Hessians at Trenton and Princeton (Dec)
1777   The Articles of Confederation proposed by Congress; Washington is unable at Brandywine to stop
             Howe’s British advance on Philadelphia (Sep) or dislodge them at Germantown (Oct); however,
             Americans under Horatio Gates (with a lot of help from Arnold and Morgan) defeat a huge British
             army at Saratoga (Oct); Washington’s exhausted troops enter winter quarters at Valley Forge
(Dec); Gates participates in the failed Conway Cabal to take command from Washington (late 1777
             early 1778)
1778   The Saratoga victory leads to the French Alliance (Feb); Jones captures HMS Drake (Apr); The
             British now under Clinton decide to vacate Philadelphia in order to better defend New York City;
             because of the cowardice of American Gen. Lee, Washington narrowly miss a potential victory (Jun)
             over Clinton’s British army on the move at Monmouth (New Jersey); Clinton then decides to shift
             the war to the American South where Tory (pro-British) sentiments are stronger; the British take
             a lightly defended Savannah  (Dec)
1779    Spain joins France as an American ally (Apr); An American effort to retake Savannah fails (Oct)
  1780s The conflict ends in American victory; a new Federal Republic is created
1780   Clinton captures a huge American army under Southern commander Gates at Camden (South
             Carolina) (May); Arnold switches sides; his plan to surrender West Point fails and he narrowly
             escapes capture (Sep); but Arnold captures Richmond for the British (Dec)
1781   The Articles of Confederation are ratified, creating the Congress of the Confederation (1781-1789)
          Morgan defeats Tarleton’s Raiders at Cowpens [a major American victory] (Jan); America's new
             Southern commander Nathanael Greene draws British Gen. Cornwallis into Virginia; Arnold burns
             New London (Sep); a trapped British army of over 7,000 troops under Cornwallis surrenders at
, Virginia (Oct)
1782   Lord North resigns as Prime Minister (Mar); Parliament votes to end the war (Apr); preliminary
             peace terms are agreed on at Paris (Nov)
1783   Washington quashes the Newburgh Conspiracy [some of his offices want to seize power from a
             corrupt Congress](Mar); The formal signing of the Treaty of Paris (Sep); all territory west to the
             Mississippi River is ceded to the Americans (Indian allies are furious)
1786   Virginia adopts Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom (Jan); Congress adopts the Indian
                Ordinance of 1786; the Annapolis Convention calls for a full conference in Philadelphia to
             propose changes to the Articles of Confederation (Sep)
1787   Shay’s Rebellion In Massachusetts is crushed (Jan), but awakens American leaders to the need for
             a stronger national union; a representative Convention meets during a long hot summer (May-Sep)
             in Philadelphia, debating the interests of the small states (equal representation of all states vested
             in the New Jersey Plan) versus the interest of the large states (proportional representation
             according to population size vested in the Virginia Plan), with the Connecticut compromise (Great
) opening the way finally to the drafting of a new Constitution for the Union of 13
             states; Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance (Jul)
1788   Federalists (nationalists) and Anti-Federalists (states-righters) debate constitutional ratification;
                 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay write The Federalist Papers advocating
              ratification; the Federalists carry the day, bringing the new Constitution to ratification (summer)
1789   Washington inaugurated in New York as the first U.S. president (Apr);
          The French Revolution breaks out (Jul) spurred by the ideals of the Enlightenment (and the example
             of the new American Republic)

  1790s The Republic struggles to establish new (and hopefully viable) political norms

early 1790s  Mounting political feud rises in Washington's Presidential cabinet between Treasury Secretary
              Hamilton (Federalist) and Secretary of State Jefferson ("Republican"/strong states-righter), with
              Washington generally supporting Hamilton (to Jefferson's great ire)
1790   Hamilton announces a new national bank’s "assumption" of all public debt (national and state);
              Jefferson and his political ally Madison are strongly opposed to this centralizing of economic power
1791   Congress approves Hamilton’s plan for a US Bank and the plan for central financing of the public debt
          The states ratify 10 Constitutional Amendments (Bill of Rights), guarantying key political protections
              against the unlimited growth of central (or ‘national’) governmental power
1793   The French Republic has alienated all other European monarchies; all of Europe is again at war
          The political hostility between Hamilton (pro-British) and Jefferson (pro-French) deepens
          Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality is a rather pro-British position; "Citizen Genet"' welcomed
              by Jefferson as French Ambassador ... but proves to be an unwelcome meddler in American politics
          The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Jay in the Chisolm v. Georgia case affirms that a
              citizen has the right to sue a state government in a federal court
1794    As an immediate reaction to the Chisolm case, the 11th Amendment is added to the Bill of Rights,
              affirming the immunity of the states from such lawsuits (unless a state agrees to a hearing)
            The French Republic dissolves into a state of unbounded political slaughter (the Reign of Terror)
          Massachusetts farmers rebel against Hamilton's excise tax on their whisky production; Washington
             personally leads a 13,000-man army to swiftly crush the "Whiskey Rebellion"
          The Jay Treaty seems to surrender American maritime rights to the increasingly aggressive English
          The cotton gin is invented, vastly deepening the importance of slavery to the Southern economy
1796   Washington steps aside, serving only 2 terms (and glad to be going home to his farm), ...
              establishing a tradition of a peaceful transfer of limited presidential power (to John Adams)
1798   French aggressions on the high seas lead arch-Federalists to want to go to war with France (and
             to political war with the pro-French Jeffersonian Republicans ... with the Alien and Sedition Act)
          Adams agrees to a treaty with the French, thus avoiding war, but getting him no gratitude from the
            Republicans and costing him the support of a number of arch Federalists (and re-election in 1800)
  1800s The Federalist/Republican rivalry deepens ... within a rapidly expanding America (growing by
            25% each decade)


1800   The American capital is moved to Washington, D.C., a town mostly yet an ideal rather than a reality
          Jefferson is narrowly elected President (over Burr); Adams is humiliated by his loss
1801   Adams signs the midnight judicial appointments, including John Marshall as Supreme Court Chief
; Marshall will greatly expand the powers of the Federal judiciary branch (1801-1835)
1802-1810  Jefferson’s Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin reverses Hamilton's policies, cutting federal
             expenditures in half (importantly the army and navy) and reducing the federal debt, but proposing
             massive road and canal building to open the interior to settlement, favoring Republican farmers of
             the American South and West and undercutting Federalist bankers and merchants of New England
1803   Marshall’s Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (questioning the "midnight" judicial appointments)
             assumes the power of "constitutional review" of Congress's legislation
          Jefferson's envoys to Napoleon secure the Louisiana Purchase for $15 (actually $11.2) million
            (acquiring land for settlers who will most likely be supporters of Jefferson’s Republican Party!)   
1804-1806   Lewis and Clark lead a party exploring (to the Pacific) the newly purchased Louisiana territory
The 12th Amendment eliminates the confusion caused by the 1800 presidential election
          Jefferson orders the (small) navy to end the piracy of the Barbary States (the Libyan coast)
          Following a long-simmering political feud, Burr kills Hamilton in a duel
1806   Pike leads a military party to further explore parts of the American West (today's Colorado)
1806-1807  Britain moves to block American shipping to France, and seize sailors deemed to be
1807   Jefferson responds by outlawing exports to or from France or England ... infuriating New
             England exporters
1808   Jefferson's Secretary of State and chief supporter Madison is elected President
  1810s Another war with England (the "War of 1812") promotes the rise of a younger, more "national,"
            American generation ... and further undercuts Indian power east of the Mississippi

1810   Fletcher v. Peck claims federal authority takes precedence over the laws of the individual states
British arrogance on the high seas, plus young American War Hawks, push America toward war
1811   Harrison defeats British allies, the Shawnee Indians, at Tippecanoe, Indiana, restarting Indian wars
1812   A Republican Congress affirms Madison's call for war with England (the "War of 1812"); Federalist are
             cool on the idea even though it is mostly New Englanders suffering from British actions
1812-1814   Three American military expeditions to Canada are major failures; although (thanks to
             Jefferson) America had no navy to speak of, American privateers do well on the high seas
1814   Having defeated Napoleon at Leipzig (late 1813) England sends an experienced army to America
             ... and proceeds to annihilate American troops, burning Washington, D.C. to the ground, but
             becoming blocked at Baltimore (the Star Spangled Banner) and then losing battles to the
             Americans on Lake Champlain and at Chippewa New York
          Meanwhile, Federalist New Englanders are planning a separate treaty with England ... even the
            possibility of seceding from the Union
          But a peace treaty is signed (Dec 24) in Ghent (Belgium).  The War of 1812 is over ... almost!
1815   Meanwhile England has sent an army to occupy New Orleans, which is stunningly defeated (Jan 8)
             by Americans under Andrew Jackson ... neither side aware that a peace treaty has been signed
             back in Europe!
          The war has led Americans to a sense of true national unity ... and brought respect from Europe.  
             It also finished off the Federalist Party, with many members joining the Republican Party ... but as
             National Republicans (a younger breed who will eventually form the Whig Party); even the old guard              of the Jeffersonian Republicans are losing ground politically to new ways of doing politics
          And the war has been disastrous for a huge number of Indian tribes who got caught up in the
             conflict; they are thrown on the defensive everywhere, with little to protect themselves from
             advancing hordes of White settlers
1816   The Second Bank of the United States (BUS) is formed (the charter of the first one was not
               renewed in 1811); but a tight money policy throws the country into deep recession (also cotton
               from India emerges as a new challenge to the South’s cotton production)
           James Monroe scores a landslide victory for the presidency over the Federalist candidate; he is a
               congenial man, hoping to promote national unity and end the political partisanship characteristic
               of the Federalist-Republican feuding; but he is also too accommodating to be able to curb the
               feuds that grow within his cabinet
1818    Jackson marches an army into Spanish Florida, ostensibly to break Seminole Indian power ... and
               then overruns Spanish positions (an act of war with no Congressional authorization)
1819    The stunned Spanish sign the Adams-Otis Treaty acknowledging the loss of Florida (and also any
               claims to the Pacific Northwest) ... they are paid $5 million in compensation for Florida
            McCulloch v. Maryland denies the right of the states to tax federal agencies (the Maryland branch
               of the BUS); Dartmouth College v. Woodward confirms the sanctity of all 
  1820s A restless spirit infects the nation in this "Era of Good Feelings" (closely identified with Monroe's
             presidency: 1817-1825)

          The Second Great Awakening (actually started in the 1790s) gathers momentum .. especially in
              Western New York (later termed the "Burned-Over District"); Millennialism (expecting the 2nd
              coming of Christ) infects the American religious heart everywhere;
           America is fast becoming an industrial nation (agriculture, textiles, heavy industry) ... and within
               20 years will equal or surpass British productivity in many industrial areas
           Americans head Southwest, towards New Mexico via the Santa Fe Trail
1821    Cohens v. Virginia:  Marshall declares that the Supreme Court has review powers over state courts
1823    Monroe announces to Congress his "Monroe Doctrine" dedicating America to the defense of the
               Latin American Republics which had recently secured their independence from Spain (the English
               were major silent partners in this policy)
1824    Gibbons v. Ogden holds that only the federal government can regulate inter-state commerce
1828    The Baltimore and Ohio railroad is founded ... beginning a rush to build railroads that will continue
              unabated through the entire 1800s

This restless spirit of growth and movement is noticeable among Americans everywhere

           The Frenchman Alexis de Toqueville will detail this in his two volume study Democracy in America
(1835/1840); cheap land creates a land-hungry spirit (much to the continuing distress of
              the harassed Indians) and much questionable or shady land trading,
1830    Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon, beginning the Latter Day Saints (LDS or "Mormons")
1837    The Great Financial Crisis of 1837
           Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge severely restricts monopolistic practices
1839    Bank of Augusta v. Earle holds that corporations have legal rights even in other states
  1840s The
  1850s The
  1860s The
  1870s The
  1880s The
  1890s The

  Miles H. Hodges