When constructing an American Revolutionary War Timeline, it is important to remember the events before the war.
This was a war for independence, but prior to the war, the colonists viewed themselves as British citizens, not as Americans, so it is important to know the events that occurred leading up to the war.
From Great Britain's perspective, they needed the pay off their debt, and the colonies represented an income stream that was untapped, so it only seemed logical that the colonies be taxed to pay off their war debt.
However, the colonies believed that being taxed without any representation was a sign of a dictatorship.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1760
September 8: End of the French and Indian War.
October 25: King George II dies, and his son, King George III, takes the throne of England.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1763
February 10: The Treaty of Paris was signed by Great Britain and France. This formally ended the French and Indian War.
No recognized date: Pontiac's War begins when the Native Americans allied themselves with the French and resist British policies.
October 7: King George III administers the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This creates a western boundary for the colonists of the 13 original colonies and the Native Americans.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1764
April 5: Britain passes the Sugar Act, and the colonists push back on the taxation.
September 1: The Currency Act was passed. This act stopped the colonists from printing paper money. It resulted in more protests by the colonists.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1765
March 22: Parliament passes the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act ignites the colonies, and a Stamp Act Congress is created. Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech to the delegates.
March 24: Parliament passed the Quartering Act, which requires the colonies to supply housing, food, and other provisions to British troops stationed in the colonies.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1766
March 18: Due to so much opposition and protest, the British repealed the Stamp Act but, in the simultaneous Declaratory Act, asserts its "full power and authority to make laws and statutes ... to bind the colonies and people of America ... in all cases whatsoever."
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1767
June 29: Struggling with war debt, Charles Townshend presents a series of acts to Parliament. These acts become known as the Townshend Acts. These would once again ignite a firestorm among the colonies and would begin to shift public opinion further away from the British crown.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1770
January 19: The Golden Hill incident occurs in the New York Colony. It results in one colonist dead at the hands of British soldiers.
January 28: Lord North becomes Prime Minister of England.
October 24: Thomas Preston, the British commander, is put on trial for his troops' actions during the Boston Massacre. The attorney sent to defend him is the future Founding Father, John Adams, and the prosecuting attorney was Robert Treat Paine, another Founding Father. He and Adams would engage in a hotly contested trial. In the end, the British troops were found innocent.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1772
January - June: Samuel Adams organizes the committee of correspondence.
June 9: The Gaspee Affair occurs between the Sons of Liberty and the British.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1773
May 10: The Tea Act is passed by Parliament. Once again, the colonists meet the act with protests.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1774
March 31 - June 2: The Intolerable Acts were enacted.
September 1: The Powder Alarm, General Thomas Gage's secret raid on the Cambridge powder magazine. The raid triggered the colonist's alarm system. While nothing happened, this alerted Gage to the organization of the colonists, and it helped the colonists work out the kinks.
September 5: First Continental Congress meets to discuss the Intolerable Acts.
December 22: A second Tea Party happened in Greenwich, Pennsylvania.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1775
May 9: Skenesboro, New York captured by Lieutenant Samuel Herrick.
May 10: The Second Continental Congress meets
July 5: Olive Branch Petition sent to King George III
December 5 - January 24: Henry Knox transported fifty-nine captured cannons from upstate New York to Boston, MA. The trip took 56 days to complete.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1776
January 10: Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense. The pamphlet would send shockwaves throughout the colonies.
March 3–4: Battle of Nassau
March 4–5: The fortification of Dorchester Heights begins when Henry Knox brings the guns of Fort Ticonderoga to Boston.
March 17: The British evacuate Boston and move to Canada. There, they begin plans to invade New York.
June 29: Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet takes place.
July 2: The Second Continental Congress enacts a resolution declaring independence from the British Empire
July 4: Declaration of Independence is released.
September 11: Staten Island Peace Conference
September 15: Landing at Kip's Bay
September 16: Battle of Harlem Heights
September 21 - 22: Great Fire of New York
September 22: Nathan Hale was captured and executed for espionage
October 11: Battle of Valcour Island
October 29: Battle of White Plains
November 16: Battle of Fort Washington ends in disaster.
November 20: Battle of Fort Lee
December 23 – December 26: Battle of Iron Works Hill
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1777
January 2: Second Battle of Trenton
January 3: Battle of Princeton
January - March: Forage War
April 13: Battle of Bound Brook
May 28 – July 2: Middlebrook encampment
June 26: Battle of Short Hills
July 5: Fort Ticonderoga was abandoned by the Americans due to advancing British troops placing cannons on Mount Defiance.
July 6: British retake Fort Ticonderoga.
July 7: Battle of Hubbardton
July 8: Delegates in Vermont, which was not one of the 13 Original Colonies, establish a republic and adopt a constitution, the first in what is now the territory of the United States to prohibit slavery.
August 6: Battle of Oriskany
September 11: Battle of Brandywine
September 20: Battle of Paoli
September 26: British occupation of Philadelphia
October 4: Battle of Germantown
October 22: Battle of Red Bank
November 16 - 18: Capture of Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer
December 5 – 8: Battle of White Marsh
December 11: Battle of Matson's Ford
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1778
February 6: Treaty of Amity and Commerce and Treaty of Alliance with France
May 20: Battle of Barren Hill
June: The British leave Philadelphia.
June 28: Battle of Monmouth
December 28: Capture of Savannah
November 30 – June 3: Continental Army in winter quarters at Middlebrook encampment
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1779
February 23–25: Siege of Fort Vincennes
July 16: Battle of Stony Point
August 19: Battle of Paulus Hook
December–May: Continental Army in winter quarters at Morristown
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1780
January 15: Congress establishes the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture to provide for final adjudication of appeals from state court prize cases involving the disposition of ships and cargo allegedly seized from the British.
January 28: A stockade known as Fort Nashborough is founded on the banks of the Cumberland River. Two years later, the site was renamed Nashville.
February 1: Some 8,000 British forces under General Henry Clinton arrive in Charleston, South Carolina Colony, from New York.
March 14: Bombardment of Fort Charlotte: After a two-week siege, the Spanish general, colonial governor of Louisiana, and Viceroy of New Spain, Bernardo de Gálvez, captures Fort Charlotte, taking the port of Mobile from the British. Fort Charlotte was the last remaining British frontier post capable of threatening New Orleans in Spanish Louisiana. Its fall drove the British from the western reaches of West Florida and reduced the British military presence in West Florida to its capital, Pensacola.
April 8: Siege of Charleston: British Army troops under General Henry Clinton and naval forces under Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot besiege Charleston, South Carolina. British ships sail past Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to occupy Charleston Harbor. Washington will order reinforcements to Charleston, but the city falls on May 12 in what is arguably the worst American defeat of the war.
May 6: Siege of Charleston: Fort Moultrie falls to the British.
May 12: Siege of Charleston: American General Benjamin Lincoln surrenders Charleston to the British. The British lost 255 men while capturing a large American garrison.
May 29: Battle of Waxhaws: A clash between Continental Army forces under Abraham Buford and a mainly Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton occurs near Lancaster, South Carolina, in the Waxhaws area. The British destroyed the American forces.
June 6: Battle of Connecticut Farms
June 23: Battle of Springfield. With the attempted British invasion of New Jersey stopped at Connecticut Farms and Springfield, major fighting in the North ends.
August 16: Battle of Camden. British General Cornwallis gains a humiliating victory over Gates in South Carolina.
September 26: Battle of Charlotte
October 7: Battle of Kings Mountain results in a key American victory that wipes out a loyalist army led by Patrick Ferguson. The loss would hurt the British southern army and discourage other loyalists from joining the British cause.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1781
March 1: Articles of Confederation ratified
September 5: Battle of the Chesapeake
September 8: Battle of Eutaw Springs
October 19: The British surrender at Yorktown
December 31: Bank of North America chartered
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1782
February 27: The British House of Commons votes against further war, informally recognizing American independence.
December 14: British evacuate Charleston, South Carolina
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1783
September 3: The Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolutionary War
November 25: The British evacuate New York, marking the end of British rule, and General George Washington triumphantly returns with the Continental Army.
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1784
January 14: The Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress.
April 9: The Treaty of Paris is ratified by the British
May 12: Ratified treaties are exchanged in Paris between the two nations.
August: "The state of Frankland," later known as Franklin, secedes from North Carolina
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1785
November 28: Treaty of Hopewell
December: Congress refuses the admission of Franklin to the Union
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1786
August 31: Shays' Rebellion begins
September 11 - 14: Annapolis Convention fails
American Revolutionary War Timeline: 1787
July 13: Northwest Ordinance passes
May 25 - September 17: Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia