The Articles of Confederation (1781-1789)
1643: Formation of the New England Confederation Consisting of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven and Connecticut colonies, this was the first union formed for the purpose of mutual defense against the French and Indians and as a forum for inter-colonial disputes.
June, 1754: Formation of the Albany Congress With delegates representing Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (including Delaware), Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, this congress provided for unified negotiations with the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederation.
July 10, 1754: Publication of the Albany Plan of Union Drafted by Benjamin Franklin, this was the first document to detail a proposal of inter- colonial unity and to aim for a permanent union of American colonies.
1765: The Stamp Act Congress meets in New York City This congress developed a unified colonial strategy to appeal and protest the unfair legislation of Parliament. See more...
1774: Meeting of the First Continental Congress Meeting in Philadelphia, the First Continental Congress organized a unified colonial boycott, and agreed to meet again if their terms were not met.
1774: Presentation of the Galloway Plan to Congress This proposal for union included a plan to establish an American Parliament that would provide legislative authority over the colonies and empowered with veto power over the British Parliament in regards to colonial matters.
May, 1775: The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia This congress met to discuss further unified colonial appeals, to plan protests and to manage the beginnings of military action against the British. See more...
January,1776: Publication of Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Benjamin Franklin drafts a plan of union that based representation in congress and contributions to the common treasury on the number of males in each state between sixteen and sixty years of age.
June 7, 1776: Richard Henry Lee proposes independence in Congress Lee proposes a resolution that calls for drafting a declaration of independence and a plan of government and confederation.
June 12, 1776: Committee appointed to draft Articles of Confederation Congress appoints a committee chaired by John Dickinson to draft the plan of confederation.
July 2, 1776: Draft of the Articles submitted to Congress John Dickinson's draft of the Articles of Confederation is submitted to Congress for debate and revision.
July 4, 1776: U.S. declares independence Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is published to the world.
November 15, 1777: Congress completes the Articles of Confederation The final version of the Articles of Confederation is adopted by Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.
July 9, 1778: Eight of the thirteen states officially ratify the Articles The delegations from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina sign and ratify the Articles of Confederation.
February 22, 1779: Delaware ratifies the Articles Delaware ratifies the Articles of Confederation, and Maryland is the only state yet to ratify. The confederation does not take effect until all states have ratified.
January 2, 1781: Virginia cession of land Virginia cedes a portion of its land west of the Appalachian Mountains to Congress.
March 1, 1781: Establishment of the U.S. Government Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation, formally establishing the first government of the United States.
October 17, 1781: Surrender at Yorktown British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to the Continental Army at Yorktown, Virginia, ending the war between the United States and Great Britain.
1782: Establishment of the Bank of North America Founded by the Secretary of Finance, Robert Morris, this bank helped to stabilize the commerce of the United States.
March, 1783: Newburgh Mutiny The army stationed at Newburgh threatened mutiny because they had not received their pay and were only stopped by George Washington's effective persuasion to remain loyal to the patriotic cause.
June, 1783: Congress forced from Philadelphia A mutinous group of Pennsylvania troops, demanding pay, forced Congress to leave Philadelphia. President John Dickinson refused the assistance of all on the state militia, as he feared they were not reliable. Congress retreated to Princeton.
September 3, 1783: Signing of Treaty of Paris The Treaty of Paris establishes the terms of peace between the United States and Great Britain.
March 1784: Acquisition of the Northwest Territory Congress officially acquires the land ceded by Virginia north and west of the Ohio River.
April 23,1784: Passage of the Land Ordinance Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and accepted by Congress, this ordinance is the first to establish the process to administer newly acquired lands.
March 25, 1785: Meeting of Mount Vernon Conference Representatives of Maryland and Virginia met at George Washington's plantation to resolve conflicts over the navigation of the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers.
September 11, 1786: Meeting of the Annapolis Convention New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, meet to discuss uniform trade regulations, but agree to appeal to all states to meet again to discuss broader reforms.
January 25, 1787: Shays' Rebellion Daniel Shays and other armed farmers from western Massachusetts are defeated in their attempt to conquer an arsenal of weapons in Springfield, Massachusetts.
May 25, 1787: First meeting of the Constitutional Convention Delegates from all states except Rhode Island meet in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.
July 13, 1787: Passage of the Northwest Ordinance This serves as a revision of the earlier ordinance and establishes, amongst other things, that slavery is prohibited from the new region.
September 17, 1787: Draft of constitution submitted to the states The Constitutional Convention sends its draft of the U.S. Constitution to the states for ratification.