The Founding of the First Government of the United States…a Timeline.
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.
A 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:
|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|
|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|
|1787–1789||Battle to ratify the Constitution|
|1789||Constitution ratified; the new United States government takes power|
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