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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 U.S. Timeline (Page 1)

1500's
  • (1541) Explorer Juan Ponce de León of Spain, landed on the coast of Florida
  • (1565) The Spanish settled Saint Augustine, Florida, the first permanent European colony in North America
1600's
  • (1616) The Native American population was devastated by a smallpox epidemic
  • (1619) The first representative assembly met in Virginia; the first slaves were brought to Jamestown from Africa
  • (1620) Pilgrims from England arrived and established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts; the Mayflower Compact was signed; the first public library was established in Virginia
  • (1652) Rhode Island enacted the first law declaring slavery illegal
  • (1664) The English seized New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York
1700's
  • (1712) Carolina colony was divided into North and South Carolina
  • (1754) The French and Indian War began
  • (1760) A huge fire destroyed much of Boston
  • (1763) The Seven Years war ended. Britain gained control of the territory east of the Mississippi River from France
  • (1770) The Boston Massacre occurred
  • (1773) In protest against the British tea tax, a group of colonists, disguised as Indians, boarded three ships in the Boston Harbor and dumped more than 300 crates of tea overboard
  • (1774) The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia with 56 delegates representing every colony except Georgia
  • (1775) The American Revolution War began
  • (1776) The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress
  • (1777) The first official flag of the United States was approved by the Continental Congress; the Articles of Confederation were adopted
  • (1783) Great Britain acknowledged American independence with the Treaty of Paris, ending the war
  • (1785) The Continental Congress relocated to New York City, the temporary capital of the United States
  • (1787) The Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution
  • (1788) The Constitution of the United States was ratified; New York City was chosen by the Congress to be the temporary capital
  • (1789) George Washington was unanimously elected president of the United States; the U.S. Army was established by Congress; a day of Thanksgiving was established by a congressional resolution
  • (1790) The first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were ratified
  • (1793) The cotton gin was invented
  • (1797) John Adams was inaugurated as the second president of the United States
1800's
  • (1800) Washington, D.C. became the official United States capital
  • (1803) France sold its Louisiana territories to the United States
  • (1804) Lewis and Clark left St. Louis on an expedition to find a route to the Pacific Ocean
  • (1812) The United States declared war on Britain over interference with maritime shipping and expansion to the west (The War of 1812)
  • (1814) The British captured Washington, D. C. and set fire to the White House and Capital; Frances Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner; the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent
  • (1819) The U.S. acquired Florida from Spain

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