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America: 1763-1776

Timeline

Important Terms, People, and Events

The Colonies and Mother Country at the Close of the French and Indian War

February 10, 1763: Treaty of Paris The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War in North America, granting the Britain control of all land to the east of the Mississippi River.

Spring - Summer 1763: Pontiac's War Begins An Indian leader, Pontiac, led Ottawa Indians in attacks against British forts near the Great Lakes, eight of which they sacked successfully. However, the British ultimately prevailed, and the Indians were forced to make peace.

October 7, 1763: King George III signs the Proclamation of 1763 The Proclamation of 1763 declared that all land transactions made to the west of the Appalachian crest would be governed by the British government rather than by the colonies.

April 5, 1764: The Sugar Act is Passed The Sugar Act lowered the import tax on foreign molasses in an attempt to deter smuggling, and placed a heavy tax on Madeira wine, which had traditionally been duty-free. The act mandated that many commodities shipped from the colonies had to pass through Britain before going to other European countries.

March 1765: The Stamp Act is Passed To be enacted on November 1, 1765, the Stamp Act required all colonists to purchase watermarked, taxed paper for use in newspapers and legal documents. The Stamp Act was the first internal tax ever imposed on the colonies by Parliament and aroused great opposition.

March 24, 1765: The Quartering Act Takes Effect The Quartering Act required colonial legislatures to pay for certain supplies for British troops stationed in each colony. The Quartering Act became controversial during 1766, when New York refuses to comply with it.

May 30, 1765: The Virginia House of Burgesses passes the Virginia Resolves The Virginia Resolves denied Parliament's right to tax the colonies under the Stamp Act, igniting opposition to the act in other colonial assemblies.

October 7, 1765: The Stamp Act Congress Meets in New York City The colonial legislatures sent representatives to New York, where they agreed broadly that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies or to deny colonists a fair trial.

March 4, 1766: The Stamp Act is Repealed In response to colonial resistance, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, and passed the Declaratory Act on March 18, which states that Parliament may legislate for the colonies in all cases.

July 2, 1767: The Townshend duties are Enacted The Townshend duties was the popular name for the collected import taxes imposed by the Revenue Act of 1767. The Revenue Act taxed glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea entering the colonies. The duties were clearly passed in an effort to raise revenue for the British treasury rather than to regulate trade.

December 1767 John Dickinson Publishes Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer Dickinson's series of twelve letters are published in almost every colonial newspaper. The letters exhorted Americans to resist the Townshend duties, enumerating the political arguments against the constitutionality of the Revenue Act.

February 11, 1768: Circular Letter Adopted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives The circular letter, drafted by Samuel Adams and sent to all of the other colonial legislatures, condemned taxation without representation and decried British efforts to make royal governors financially independent of the elected legislatures as a further deprivation of representative government. It spurred some other legislatures to draft similar letters, but most remain apathetic.

October 1, 1768: Troops Begin to Land in Boston In response to growing political unrest in Massachusetts, Britain sent troops to occupy the city in the final months of 1768. Tensions mounted between the troops and the civilians.

March 4, 1770: The Boston Massacre Troops in Boston squared off with a crowd of sailors led by Crispus Attucks. When the crowd knocked one soldier to the ground, the soldiers fired and killed 5 men.

April 12, 1770: The Townshend Duties are Repealed Under financial pressure from the colonists' non-importation policy, Parliament repealed all of the Townshend duties except for the tax on tea.

June 9, 1772: The Burning of the Gaspee In an act of open defiance against British rule, more than one hundred Rhode Island colonists burn the corrupt customs ship Gaspee to the waterline after it runs aground near Providence.

July 1773: Samuel Adams Publishes the Letters of Thomas Hutchinson Through the Committees of Correspondence Massachusetts' royal governor, Hutchinson, in his letters, advocates "an abridgement of what are called British liberties," and "a great restraint of natural liberty" in the colonies. The publication of these letters convinces Americans of a British plot to destroy their political freedom.

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