c1750-1880s In Scotland this was the period of the Clearances. The peasants were swept aside to allow clan chiefs to raise sheep on clan lands until protests on the isle of Skye led to legal reform for the Highlands
1752 Sep 3, The Gregorian Adjustment to the calendar was put into effect in Great Britain and the American colonies followed. At this point in time 11 days needed to be accounted for and Sept. 2 was selected to be followed by Sept. 14
1753 In the Virginia Piedmont Boswell's Tavern was built and for some 150 years served horseback riders flagons of spirit through a barred window. The ride-up window thus predates the drive-in window
1753 The observation by Lind that fresh fruits and vegetables could cure scurvy marks the beginning of nutritional epidemiology. He conducted tests that showed the beneficial effects of lemons and oranges in treating the disease
1750-1759 France claims the Ohio River Valley and builds several forts, including Fort Duquesne, later Pittsburgh. The Ohio Company of Britain begins to settle in what is now western Pennsylvania
1754 Jul 13, At the beginning of the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity (later Pittsburgh) in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley
1755 Jul 8, Britain broke off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensified
1755 In Canada the Accadians of Nova Scotia were uprooted by an English governor and forced to leave. Some 10,000 people moved to destinations like Maine and Louisiana. The Longfellow story "Evangeline" is based on this displacement.
1755-1758 The French and Indian Wars began in the US
1756 At the outbreak of the war that was to settle the issue of control of North America between Britain and France, French colonists numbered only 55,000, the British colonists numbered about 1 million, and the Native Americans from coast to coast numbered about 600,000
1756 The Duc de Richelieu invents mayonnaise, a combination of egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, oil, and seasonings
1758 Jul 26, British captured France's Fortress of Louisbourg on Ile Royale (Capre Breton Island, Nova Scotia) after a seven-week siege, thus gaining control of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River
1759 Sep 13, During the final French and Indian
War, the Battle of Quebec [Canada] was fought. British Gen. James Wolfe's
army defeated Commander Louis Joseph de Montcalm's French forces on the
Plains of Abraham overlooking Quebec City. An English fleet of 20 ships
led by General James Wolfe landed 3,600 English troops near Quebec in the
early hours of the day. The fleet was sent up the St. Lawrence River to
take the region from the French. "Measured by the numbers engaged," wrote
historian Francis Parkman, the Battle of Quebec "was but a
heavy skirmish; measured by results, it was one of the great battles of the world." Fought on the rainy morning of September 13, 1759, the armies of England and France clashed outside the walls of Quebec City and altered the balance of power of an entire continent. The battle on the Plains of Abraham lasted less than half an hour. As French forces withered and an English victory became apparent, Wolfe was shot in the chest, his third wound of the battle. He said to a distraught soldier just before he died, "Do not weep, my dear. In a few minutes I shall be
happy." By the time the rain had washed away the blood, Quebec had surrendered to the British. Four years later, the Treaty of Paris gave England sole dominion over most of the land that Quebec City had governed, from Cape Breton Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Mississippi River.
1760 Mar 20, The great fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings
1760 Sep 8, The French surrendered the city of Montreal to the British
1760 The English settled in Maine following their victory in the French and Indian War
1761 St. Peter's Episcopal Church was built in Philadelphia, Pa. The Protestant Episcopal Church of America was born with the Revolution and the break with the Anglican Church of Britain
New York's first St. Patrick's Day parade is held on March 17, 1762
1762 Dec 3, France ceded to Spain all lands west of the Mississippi- the territory known as Upper Louisiana
1763 Feb 10, The Treaty of Paris ended the French-Indian War. France ceded Canada to England and gave up all her territories in the New World except New Orleans and a few scattered islands
1763 May 7, Indian chief Pontiac began his attack on a British fort in present-day Detroit, Michigan. Ottawa Chief Pontiac led an uprising in the wild, distant lands that later became Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania
1764 Jan 25, Harvard Hall in Cambridge, Mass., burned to the ground and destroyed most of the 5,000 volumes in its library.
1764 Feb 15, The city of St. Louis was established as a French trading post. Pierre Laclede Ligue and stepson Auguste Chouteau notched a couple of trees that marked the site for Laclede's Landing that became St. Louis
1764 Apr 19, The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money
1764 May 24, Bostonian lawyer James Otis denounced "taxation without representation" and called for the colonies to unite in demonstrating their opposition to Britain's new tax measures
1765 Mar 22, Britain enacted the Stamp Act to raise money from the American Colonies. This was the first direct British tax on the colonists. The tax covered just about everything produced by the American colonists and began the decade of crisis that led to the American Revolution. The Stamp Act taxed the legal documents of the American colonists and infuriated John Adams. The Act was repealed the following year.
1765 Mar 24, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to 10,000 British soldiers in public and private buildings.
1765 Oct 7, Delegates from nine of the American colonies met in New York to discuss the Stamp Act Crisis and colonial response to it. This "Stamp Act Congress" went on to draft resolutions condemning the Stamp and Sugar Acts, trial without jury and taxation without representation as contrary to their rights as Englishmen.
1765 Nov 23, Frederick County, Md., repudiated the British Stamp Act.
1765 In America the "Daughters of Liberty" was the first society of working women in the US and formed to boycott British products and woven goods.
1765 Britain also stationed a standing army of 6,000 in the colonies and required the colonists to provide for units in settled areas. Later evidence indicated that poor weather conditions led to poor crop seasons for 15 of 37 years prior to the Revolution.
1765 Eberhard put erasers on pencils.
1765-1775 Ships from Salem, Mass., typically carried 12,000 quintals (220 lbs. per quintal) of salt cod to Europe and the same amount to the West Indies.
1767 Jun 29, The British Parliament approved the Townshend Revenue Acts, sponsored by statesman Charles Townshend (1725-1767), which imposed import duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea shipped to America. Colonists bitterly protested the Acts, which were repealed in 1770.
1767 Oct 18, The boundary between Maryland and
Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed upon. It was first surveyed
in 1763 to 1767 by two British astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah
Dixon, in order to settle a dispute between the Calvert and Penn families,
the owners at that time of the two states in question. The survey, begun
in 1763 and completed four years later, done by English surveyors Charles
Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to resolve a land-grant boundary dispute between
the families of Lord Baltimore and William Penn, resulted in the
Mason-Dixon Line. The line, extended in 1784, came to be known as the dividing line between free-soil states and slave states.
1768 Feb 15, The 1st mustard manufactured in America was advertised in Philadelphia
1768 Nov 5, William Johnson, the northern Indian Commissioner, signed a treaty with the Iroquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement.
1769-70 Capt. James Cook charted the coasts of both the north and south islands of New Zealand. Cook made his historic voyages in colliers, ships designed primarily for carrying coal. They were slow but strong. His ship was named the Resolution.
1770 March 5, British troops taunted by a crowd of colonists fired on an unruly mob in Boston and killed five citizens in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre. The fracas between a few angry Boston men and one British sentry ended with five men dead or dying in the icy street corner of King Street and Shrimton's Lane. Captain Thomas Preston did not order the eight British soldiers under his command to fire into the hostile crowd. The nervous soldiers claimed to be confused by shouts of "Why do you not fire?" coming from all sides. Versions of the event rapidly circulated through the colonies, bolstering public support for the Patriot cause. The British Captain Preston and seven soldiers were defended by John Adams. The captain and five of the soldiers were acquitted, the other two soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and were branded on the hand with a hot iron. The first colonist killed in the American Revolution was the former slave, Crispus Attucks, shot by the British at the Boston Massacre.
1772 Jun 22, Slavery was outlawed in England.
1773 May 10, To keep the troubled East India Company afloat, Parliament passed the Tea Act, taxing all tea in the American colonies
1773 Oct 14, Britain's East India Company tea ships' cargo was burned at Annapolis, MD
1770-1779 Joseph Bramah patents a water closet with a flushing system that will provide the basis for future toilet plumbing
1773 Dec 16, Some 50-60 "Sons of Liberty" of revolutionary Samuel Adams disguised as Mohawks defied the 3 cents per pound tax on tea boarded a British East India Tea Company ship and dumped more than 300 chests of British tea into the Boston Harbor in what became known as the Boston Tea Party. Parliament had passed the 1773 Tea Act not to regulate trade or make the colonies pay their own administrative costs, but to save the nearly bankrupt British East India Tea Company. The Tea Act gave the company a monopoly over the American tea trade and authorized the sale of 17 million pounds of tea in America at prices cheaper than smuggled Dutch tea. In spite of the savings, Americans would not accept what they considered to be taxation without representation. Overreacting to the Boston Tea Party, the British attempted to punish Boston and the whole colony of Massachusetts with the Intolerable Acts of 1774--another in the series of events that ultimately led to American independence.
1774 May 20, The British Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior. The acts closed the port of Boston
1774 Jun 2, The Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to allow British soldiers into their houses, was reenacted
1774 Oct 26, The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concluded in Philadelphia
1775 Apr 13, Lord North extended the New England Restraining Act to South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland The act forbade trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland
1775 Apr 14, The first American society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia.
1775 Apr 19, Alerted by Paul Revere the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington Common with the Battle of Lexington-Concord. Capt. John Parker mustered 78 militiamen on the town green of Lexington to send a warning to the 700 British soldiers marching to Concord to seize weapons and gunpowder. Maj. Gen. Thomas Gage sent a force of 700 British troops to Concord, west of Boston, to capture colonial weapons and arrest Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Arriving at Lexington on their way to Concord, the British were met on the town common by about 70 Minutemen. No one knows who fired the first shot, but when the smoke cleared, eight Americans lay dead. The British suffered more than 250 casualties as they opposed more than 1,500 Massachusetts men.The events are documented in the 1997 book "Liberty by Thomas Fleming."
1775 May 20, North Carolina became the first colony to declare its independence
1775 Jun 14, The U.S. Army was founded when the Continental Congress first authorized the muster of troops under its sponsorship
1775 Aug 23, King George III of England refused the American colonies' offer of peace and declared them in open rebellion
1775 Oct 13, The U.S. Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet.
1775 Nov 10, The U.S. Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.
1775 Presbyterians made up the third largest denomination in America with more than 400,000 members. The largest denomination was made up of Congregationalists, with the second largest being Anglicans.
1775 Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky.
1775-1782 More Revolutionary War engagements were fought in New Jersey--238--than in any other state. New York was second with 228. New Hampshire. The only one of the original 13 colonies not invaded by the British during the Revolutionary War was New Hampshire.
1776 May 2, France and Spain agreed to donate arms to American rebels
1776 May 15, Virginia took the lead in instructing its delegates to go for complete independence from Britain at the Continental Congress.
1776 Jun 11-Jul 4, The Continental Congress met and Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, based on the principals of John Locke. But where Locke had used the word "property," Jefferson used the term "the pursuit of happiness."
1776 Jun 12 Virginia's colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights. The Virginia Bill of Rights granted every individual the right to the enjoyment of life and liberty and to acquire and possess property. The Virginia document was written by George Mason and was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence. Mason refused to endorse the Declaration of Independence because it did not include a Bill of Rights.
1776 Sep 9, The term "United States" was adopted by the second Continental Congress to be used instead of the "United Colonies."
1776 Oct 3, Congress borrowed five million dollars to halt the rapid depreciation of paper money in the colonies
1777 Mar 31, A young Abigail Adams encouraged her husband John to give women voting privileges in the new American government.
1777 Jun 14, The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag
1777 Aug 16, France declared a state of bankruptcy
1777-1791 Vermont became a country unto itself. It coined its own money, set up its own postal service and elected its own president.
1778 Feb 6, The United States won official recognition from France as the nations signed a treaty of aid in Paris. The Franco-American Treaty of Alliance bound the 2 powers together "forever against all other powers." It was the first alliance treaty for the fledgling U.S. government and the last until the 1949 NATO pact
1778 Jul 10, In support of the American Revolution, Louis XVI declared war on England
1778 Sep 7, Shawnee Indians attacked and laid siege to Boonesborough, Kentucky
1778 Nov 11, Indians, led by William Butler, massacred the inhabitants of Cherry Valley, N.Y.
1778 In England the Catholic Relief Act was enacted. It inspired London riots in Jun 1780
1779 Feb 25, The British surrendered the Illinois country to George Rogers Clark at Vincennes
1780 Mar 1, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery
1780 May 19, A mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon; the cause has never been determined
1780-1783 A 4-year war between England and the Dutch was fought
1781 Mar 1, The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation
1780-1789 Australia's Botany Bay becomes an English penal colony, receiving its first convicts in 1788. The colony is then moved to a town that will be called Sydney, after Thomas Townshend, first viscount of Sydney
1781 Oct 19, British troops under Lord Cornwallis, surrounded at Yorktown, Va., by American and French regiments numbering 17,600 men, surrendered as the American Revolution neared its end
1782 Aug 7, General George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
1782 The first English Bible in America was published.
1782-1785 Mozart during this period wrote six string quartets dedicated to Haydn.
1783 Jan 20, The fighting of the Revolutionary War ended. Britain signed a peace agreement with France and Spain, who allied against it in the American War of Independence.
1783 Loyalist Tory homes in Maine were taken apart and moved to New Brunswick, Canada, and reassembled. Boatloads of newcomers from New York and New England moved. Some of the new arrivals froze to death in makeshift shelters that winter.
1784 May 20, Peace of Versailles ended the war between France, England, and Holland.
1784 Ben Franklin, while serving as US Minister to France, came up with the idea of manipulating the hours of the business day so that shops would both open and close earlier, when it was still light outside.
1785 Jan 21, Chippewa, Delaware, Ottawa and Wyandot Indians signed a treaty of Fort McIntosh, ceding present-day Ohio to the United States.
1785 Jul 4, The first Fourth of July parade was held in Bristol, Rhode Island. It served as a prayerful walk to celebrate independence from England
1785 Congress decided that the country's monetary system would be based on a silver coin called a dollar, similar to that of the Spanish dollar.The first American silver dollar was minted in 1794.
1786 Dec 26, Small farmers in Springfield, Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays revolted against tax laws. Federal troops broke up the protesters of what becomes known as Shay's Rebellion. Shays' Rebellion suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Capt. Daniel Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass.
1787 The first left and right shoes were made.
1787 Approximately 50,000 British convict servants were transported to the American colonies in commutation of death sentences up to this time. After the American Revolution, Britain continued dumping convicts in the U.S. illegally into 1787. Australia eventually replaced America for this purpose.
1788 Mar 21, Almost the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana, was destroyed by fire.
1789 Jan 7, The first U.S. presidential election was held. Americans voted for electors who, a month later, chose George Washington to be the nation's first president.
1789 July 14 , Bastille Day. The citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille, the Paris fortress used as a prison to hold political prisoners, and released the seven prisoners inside at the onset of the French Revolution. The average Frenchman was 5 foot 2 and weighed 105 pounds.
1789 Sep 2, The Treasury Department, headed by Alexander Hamilton, was created in New York City and housed in Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl St.
1789 The bankruptcy of the French government brought banks across Europe to their knee
1790 Mar 1, Congress authorized the first U.S. census.
1790 Dec 20, In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 23-year-old British subject Samuel Slater began production of the first American spinning mill.
1790 The US government issued $80 million in bonds to cover Revolutionary War debts and their trade established the financial activity on Wall Street
1790 The US population was 20% African and numbered about 760,000
1792 Apr 20, France declared war on Austria, Prussia, and Sardinia, marking the start of the French Revolutionary wars.
1792 May 17, Stock traders gathered under a buttonwood tree not far from Wall Street in New York City and organized what later became the New York Stock Exchange.
1792 The crown jewels of France were stolen including the 67 carat Blue Diamond
1792 In Scotland gas lighting was developed
1793 Feb 1, France declared war on Britain and the Netherlands.
1793 Oct 28, Eli Whitney applied for a patent on the cotton gin, a machine which cleaned the tight-clinging seeds from short-staple cotton easily and effectively--a job which was previously done by hand. The patent was granted the following March.
1793 There was a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia
1794 In the US in western Pennsylvania, angry farmers protested a new federal tax on whiskey makers. The protest flared into the open warfare known as the Whiskey Rebellion between US marshalls and whiskey farmers.
1795 Oct 4, General Napoleon Bonaparte led the rout of counterrevolutionaries in the streets of Paris, beginning his rise to power.
1796 May 14, English physician Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox to an 8-year-old boy named James Phipps
1797 Mar 28, Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patented a washing machine
1797-1801 John Adams, 2nd president of the US was in office. It was during his term that France and Britain, engaged in war with each other, insisted on the right to seize American ships.
1798 Apr 7, Territory of Mississippi was organized.
1798 May 24, Believing that a French invasion of Ireland was imminent, Irish nationalists rose up against the British occupation. It was put down by the Orange yeomanry who were enlisted by the government to restore peace.
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