America ~ Historic Founding Timeline

The Events that Led to the Founding of the U. S. A.

The Founding of The United States of America did not begin with a single event.  Our Founding was prompted by a series of events that spanned decades.


The Experience of Our Founders

Founding Fathers and Mothers of the U.S.A. were learned citizens with great knowledge of European governance and considerable experience with self-government before the writing of the Constitution.  Perhaps more importantly, the Founders were grounded in a knowledge of humankind and the forces of both good and bad government.

Their combined experiences and knowledge and human truths, along with the well-documented strong grounding in their faiths, coupled with the trials handled as a  young nation culminated in the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent writing of The Constitution of the United States of America.

constitution is a set of rules that determines how power will be used legitimately in a state. Contrary to popular belief, few governments have been created by written constitutions.  The Founders understood the dangers of several forms of government and held confidence in the formation of a country based on a Constitution and in the establishment of a Constitutional Republic.

The table, below, lists significant events in the life of a new country that led to the Founding of The United States of America.

The Timeline of the Events Which Prompted the Founding of the United States of America:

Date Event
1607 First permanent British colony at Jamestown, Virginia
1620 Pilgrims land in Massachusetts
1620–1732 Founding of the thirteen colonies; colonists govern themselves and develop idea of limited government
1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties passed; it protects rights of individuals
1764 Sugar Act taxes sugar
1765 Stamp Act taxes a variety of goods
1770 Boston Massacre
1773 Boston Tea Party
1775 Revolutionary War begins
1776 Second Continental Congress convenes; Declaration of Independence is written
1781 Ratification of the Articles of Confederation
1783 Treaty of Paris ends the Revolutionary War
1786 Shays’ Rebellion begins in western Massachusetts
1786 Annapolis Convention calls on Congress to convene a meeting to fix the Articles
1787 Constitutional Convention
1787–1789 Battle to ratify the Constitution
1789 Constitution ratified; the new United States government takes power
George Washington and his men, Crossing the Potomac

 Immediately following the ratification of The Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights with the first ten Amendments to the Constitution were added to the Constitution to create the most lasting freedom any country in history has ever experienced.

This is the brief synopsis and timeline of how the American story began.  Being brief, it does not speak of the hardships, struggles and fights of the new nation and its quest for freedom.  This timeline, though, does give us a quick picture of the early days of our country.

-The Founding Project Admin Staff Writer

Sources:  The Heritage Foundation, The U. S. Constitution Center, The National Constitution Center



    • We agree. A full civics program is meant to be taught every year of schooling and cannot possibly replaced by one government class. That’s why TFP began!

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