1763 The French and Indian War ends. The British defeat France
and acquire the French empire in North America.
1765 Britain passes the Stamp Act to directly tax the colonists.
The act requires that revenue stamps be put on all legal documents,
deeds, newspapers, pamphlets, dice, and playing cards.
1766 The Stamp Act is repealed. However, a Declaratory Act reiterates
Britain's right to pass laws for and levy taxes on the colonies.
1773 During the Boston Tea Party, colonists disguised as Native
Americans throw tea from British ships into the ocean to protest
the Tea Act (December). The act was passed to allow the British
East India Company to sell tea to the colonists, but the tea
included a British tax.
1774 Intolerable Acts are passed. They close the port of Boston,
curtail the powers of the Massachusetts assembly and town meetings,
provide for compulsory quartering of troops by colonists, and
exempt imperial officials from trial in Massachusetts.
1775 American militias defeat British troops in the battles
of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the war (April).
1775 American troops capture Fort Ticonderoga, beginning the
war in New York (May).
1775 The British defeat the Americans at the Battle of Bunker
Hill. The Continental Congress commissions George Washington
to lead the Continental Army (June).
1776 The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence
1776 The British defeat American troops at the Battle of Long
Island, seizing the city of New York (August).
1776 Washington and his troops cross the Delaware River to launch
a surprise attack; they defeat the British at the battles of
Trenton and Princeton (December).
1777 British troops capture Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home
of the Continental Congress (September).
1777 British troops are defeated at Saratoga, New York, failing
to cut New England off from the rest of the colonies (October).
1778 The Continental Congress enters a formal alliance with
France, which provides money, weapons, and soldiers (February).
1778 The British capture Savannah, Georgia, in an effort to
implement their Southern strategy, an attempt to capture Southern
colonies with support of Southern Loyalists (December).
1779 Colonial troops seize a British fort at Vincennes, taking
control of the war in the west (February).
1779 The colonial vessel, Bonhomme Richard, forces the surrender
of the British warship, Serapis (September).
1780 British forces capture Charleston, South Carolina, as part
of the Southern strategy (May).
1781 The British are defeated at Guilford Courthouse, North
Carolina and realize that their Southern strategy is unlikely
to succeed (March).
1781 The British surrender at Yorktown, ending most of the fighting
in North America (October).
1783 The Treaty of Paris is signed, recognizing the independence
of the United States (September).
1787 The Constitution of the United States is signed by the
delegates of the Constitutional Convention (September).
1789 The Constitution becomes effective.