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Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1700s

American Rights

  • Wars amongst colonial powers from Queen Anne to French and Indian led to growing unrest within the colonies themselves as taxes were levied without representation, which would lead to the next decade to come and revolution. American leaders began to emerge in a variety of ways, including George Washington trying to become a British General and Ben Franklin beginning his publishing career and flying a kite.

  • To the 1770s
  • 1700-1709

    January 26, 1700 - The Cascadia earthquake, located off thecoast of the Pacific Northwest along the Juan de Fuca plate, occurs. The magnitude 9 (8.7 to 9.2) quake caused a tsunami to hit the coast of Japan.

    February 29, 1704 - During Queen Anne’s War, Deerfield, Massachusetts is attacked by French and Indian forces with fifty-six killed and over one hundred captured and carried off.

    April 24, 1704 - The first regular newspaper publishes its initial edition in Boston, the News-Letter. It was begun by John Campbell, the postmaster.


    October 5, 1710 - British Troops begin a nine day siege on the French fort, Port Royal in Nova Scotia, before capturing it for the crown in the Queen-Anne's War 1701-1713.

    April 6, 1712 - New York slave revolt results in six suicides and twenty-one executions.

    April 11, 1713 - The Queen Anne's War ends with the French signing a treaty in the series of Treaties of Utrecht to give Nova Scotia to the British.

    1716 - The first theater in the colonies opens for business in Williamsburg, Virginia.

    May 7, 1718 - French colonists under the governor of the French colony of Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienvile, with the French Mississippi Company found the City of New Orleans, named after the regent of France, Philip II, the Duke of Orleans. It is located on the lands of the Chitimacha tribe. November 22, 1718 - The English pirate Blackbeard is killed off the coast of Ocracoke Island in North Carolina by the crew of Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS.


    June 16, 1720 - The Villasur expedition of Spanish troops leaves Mexico on a mission to control the increasing presence of the French in the Great Plains. It would end with a defeat by the Pawnee on August 14 near the Loup and Platte Rivers, near Columbus, Nebraska.

    1721 - Adrien de Pauger designs plans for the French Quarter in the city of New Orleans.

    October 2, 1729 - Benjamin Franklin buys an interest in the Pennsylvania Gazette, founded one year earlier by Samuel Keimer.


    December 28, 1732 - Poor Richard's Almanac is published for the first of its twenty-six annual editions by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. It would sell as many as 10,000 copies per year. 1735 - Freedom of the Press became recognized in New York after the trial of John Peter Zenger, who had been accused of libeling the British Government in his Weekly Journal. Zenger was acquitted.


    1740 - Alaska is reached by Captain Vitas Bering under the employment of the Russians.

    March 18, 1741 - Twenty-nine years after the first revolt of slaves in New York, a second uprising occurs. Seventeen slaves were hanged after the revolt, thirteen burned, and seventy deported.

    1741 - Thomas Faunce, the Plymouth Colony's town record keeper, identifies the exact rock that lore and stories from his father had stated was the landing rock.


    June 15, 1752 - Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod after earlier in the year proving that lightning was electricity by flying a kite in a thunderstorm.

    May 28, 1754 - George Washington and his troops attack Fort Duquesne, an initial action of the French and Indian War between the English and French which began when French forces built and occupied Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh and did not heed warnings to leave Virginia territory.

    July 25, 1755 - Decision to relocate Acadian French from Nova Scotia is made. British relocate 11,500 Acadian French to other British colonies and France over the next eight years; some later settle in Louisiana.


    November 13, 1762 - France cedes Louisiana to Spain. This started a contentious period of thirty-eight years of Spanish rule before Spain returned Louisiana back to France.

    February 10, 1763 - French and Indian War ends with peace treaty that cedes Canada and the American midwest to English. This signals and effectively tightens the control of Great Britain's colonial administration of North America.

    April 6, 1764 - The Sugar Act places a duty on various commodities, including lumber, food, molasses, and rum in the British colonies.

    October 7, 1765 - After the establishment of the Stamp Act by the British Government, which required revenue stamps, taxes, to pay for British troops, nine American colonies hold a Stamp Act Congress in New York and adopted a Declaration of Rights against taxation without representation.

    March 18, 1766 - Stamp Act is repealed.

    1767 - Additional levies are put on goods in American colonies by the British Government when the Townshend Acts are enacted, including levies on glass, painter's lead, paper, and tea. All would be repealed in three years, except for the tax on tea.

    July 14, 1769 - Jose de Galvez sends Spanish missionaries into California to begin the establishment of missions at San Diego and Monterey. There would be twenty-one missions established and maintained over the next sixty-four years of the mission period in Spanish California history.

History Photo Bomb


To get a great idea of how the decades before and after the Declaration of Independence was written take a trip to the two northeastern cities that were at the crux of much of the action; Boston and Philadelphia. From the actions prior to the revolution to those of the drafting of the Constitution. One quick note; it took an awful long time to get our governmental system worked out, and the long and arduous road of the American Revolution and subsequent formation of the government is an amazing journey all Americans show know and visit.

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