Early Colonial Era until 1700
1000 A.D. – A mariner of the Viking origin, Leif Ericson, sailed to the east coastline of North America. He landed on the coast of Newfoundland, where he built a temporary place for living.
1215 – The Magna Carta was the first legislative act enacted in England that implemented the set of freedoms for the English nation and upheld the fundamental rights and obligations that later transformed into the core of the contemporary democratic society.
1492 – Christopher Columbus went on his first travel to the New World supported and financed by the Spanish King, but aimed to find a western marine way to Asia. On October 12, his sail named Santa Maria arrived to the Bahamas, but he considered that was a Japanese island located separately from others.
1497 – An Englishman John Cabot arrived to the east Canadian coastline and named that territory in honor of Henry VII, the English King. The explorer was the first who discovered the Northwest Passage to Asia, that was commonly known as the northern sea way.
1499 – Amerigo Vespucci was born in Italy, but served for Spanish Crown, and went to the trip to the coast of the South America.
1507 – The author of geography books wrote about the New World calling it “America” and announced that Amerigo Vespucci explored a new territory.
1513 – A Spanish explorer Ponce de León became the Governor of Puerto Rico. Then he was the captain of the European expedition, which came to the coast of Florida.
1517 – The Catholic Church lost its primary role and power, simultaneously various religious organizations of Protestant beliefs appeared and rose fast due to the Protestant Reformation, initiated by Martin Luther in Europe.
1519 – Hernando Cortés, a Spanish conquistador, who headed the expedition and overcame the Aztec empire, occupied the Mexican territory.
1519-1522 – Ferdinand Magellan performed the first sea trip around the word called circumnavigation. However, the expedition had the purpose to reach the East India.
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazano, supported financially by the French King, arrived to the territory of Carolinas; after that he continued his trip to the north and came to Hudson River through which he landed on Narragansett Bay and Nova Scotia.
1541 – Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, found the channel of the Mississippi River. He is considered the first who crossed this river.
1565 – The Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, was authorized by the Crown to explore the American territory. He founded the first European settlement in the North America.
1587 – Virginia Dare was the first child of the English origin born on the territory of New England in North America. She was born in Roanoke on August 18.
1588 – The English army overcame the Spain forces in Europe. This event caused the change of the primary position of Spain over Britain in the international affairs and facilitated the increase of Great Britain’s power in the New Word for promoting its state interests.
1606 – The expedition with colonization purposes started its way to Virginia. It was supported by the London Company.
1607 – The settlers from the expedition organized by the London Company initiated the building of settlements in Virginia. However, the number of its residents decreased from 105 to 32 persons because of the spread of hunger and illnesses. The Chief Powhatan from the Native American tribe imprisoned Capt. John Smith and only due to the chief`s daughter Pocahontas he was rescued from the death penalty.
1608 – In January, the next expedition of 110 settlers came to Jamestown. Moreover, in December the first trade parcel of goods consisting of lumber and iron ore was shipped from Jamestown to England.
1609 – The expedition for the period of seven months was organized by the Dutch East India Company. It was headed by Henry Hudson and had the destination to land to North America coast. It arrived through the Hudson River to Albany.
1609 – The European settlers grassed and yielded the tobacco plant. However, it was widely used before that by the Native Americans. But only after its discovering by the colonists this plant became a popular trade good.
1613 – The first commercial post was created on Lower Island located in Manhattan district.
1616 – Tobacco began to be exported as a primary trade good from Virginia.
1616 – A smallpox epidemic became widely spread in New England. This disease mainly affected the Native Americans, and because of that their population decreased a lot.
1619 – The first legislative assembly was created consisting of the 22 burgesses as the representatives of 11 plantations. It organized its first session that took place in the Virginia House of Burgesses located in Jamestown.
1619 – A Dutch ship arrived to Jamestown and brought twenty Africans who were the enslaved servants for sale. In such a way the slavery began in America.
1620 – On November 9, a vessel named Mayflower arrived to Cape Cod located in Massachusetts and brought 101 settlers on its board. On November 11, the members of Plymouth Colony consisting of 41 men agreed and signed the Mayflower Compact. It was the first legislative document that enacted the form of government and general rules of living and cooperation for the benefit of the inhabitants of the colony. The Compact created the precedent of the implementation of legal regulations as the example for other colonies.
1620 – English landowners provided a lot of books for charity purposes. Due to that the first public library was opened in Virginia.
1621 – The Plymouth Pilgrims concluded the peace act with the Wampanoag Tribe under the auspices of Squanto and English speaking Native Americans. It was deemed one of the first agreement between the colonists and Indian tribes.
1624 – The Dutch West India Company supported the emigration of thirty Dutch families to New York.
1624 – The Virginia Company status was denied in London, thus Virginia obtained the position of a Royal Colony.
1626 – A settler from Denmark bought Manhattan Island from Native Americans. The purchase price was 60 guilders that was approximately 24 dollars. The island received the name New Amsterdam.
1629 – The English King Charles I disbanded the parliament and endeavored to establish an absolute form of monarchy. His actions caused the increase of emigration to America.
1630 – In March, John Winthrop led a Puritan migration of 900 colonists to Massachusetts Bay, where he would serve as the first governor. In September, Boston was officially established and served as the site of Winthrop’s government.
1633 – The settlers of Massachusetts colony set up the town government located in Dorchester.
1634 – The English King Charles I ordered to pass the ownership of lands in Maryland to Roman Catholic Lord Baltimore. Here he organized the settlement of 200, mainly, Catholic colonists.
1635 – Boston Latin School began its work and is deemed the first public school founded in America.
1636 – Roger Williams settled Providence and Rhode Island in June. However, he was evicted from Massachusetts because of his appeals and attempting to implement freedom in politics and religion, which meant the division of church and state. His opinions were considered a threat for public interest as they didn`t meet the Puritan rules. As a result, many settlers moved to Providence because of harassment of their religious opinions.
1636 – In Massachusetts by the vote of the Great and General Court the first education institution was established. It took the name in honor of Charlestown’s minister John Harvard.
1638 – Anne Hutchinson was evicted from Massachusetts because of her dissident religious beliefs regarding personal opinion on the church and priesthood. Then she moved with her family to Rhode Island.
1638 – During the time of presidency of Henry Dunster the first colonial printing press appeared in Cambridge College.
1640-1659 – English Civil War began between the King Charles’ I supporters known as Royalists and the army of Parliamentary supporters. It ended by the breakdown of the Royalists and the monarchy simultaneously. On January 30, 1649, Kings Charles I was decapitated. England transferred into a Commonwealth and Protectorate state form, headed by Oliver Cromwell.
1646 – In Massachusetts, government upheld the legal act that imposed the death penalty on the crime described as religious heresy.
1652 – Rhode Island acted out the colonial law that considered the slavery as outlawed.
1660 – King Charles II reestablished the monarchy in England under his auspices.
1660 – In England under the prescription of the King the Navigation Act was upheld that implemented the rule to operate only English commercial ships in the English Colonies and sat up some restrictions on the quantity of tobacco and sugar and other goods’ export to England or its colonies.
1663 – Carolina colony was founded by the order of King Charles II. He approved the distribution of its territory between eight of his supporters.
1663 – The Navigation Act was enacted that established the requirement that the major quantity of imported goods should be passed through England on vessels of English Crown.
1664 – The Dutch New Netherland colony headed by Gov. Peter Stuyvesant defeated to the British in the naval blockade. After this event, it was renamed into English New York.
1664 – Maryland government implemented a legal act that obligated the black slaves to serve for all life. It was designed to avoid cases when they could apply to the English precedents that resulted in liberation from slavery because of professing Christianity. This legal document caused the implementation of the similar acts in other states including New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas and Virginia.
1672 – By the decision of Crown the Royal Africa Company obtained the right to monopoly regarding slavery trade in England.
1673 – The Dutch army took back New York from the British territory and governing.
1673 – The British Navigation Act was approved and the system of the duty offices with commissioners in colonies was enacted. The purpose was to regulate the tax collection on the goods passed between the plantations in the colonies.
1674 – The Treaty of Westminster was concluded between England and Dutch and as its result the confrontations between states ended. Therefore, the ownership of Dutch colonies located on the American territory was transferred to England.
1675-1676 – In New England because of colonist`s interference and their hostilities the King`s Philip`s War began between the colonists and Native Americans. The war was expanded to the territory located down the Connecticut River valley in Massachusetts and to the Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies. In result of the confrontation 600 English colonials and 3,000 Native Americans were killed, this number included the women and children killed during these actions. King Philip was murdered on August 12, 1676 near Rhode Island. This event caused the end of war and defeat of the Native Americans. In New Hampshire and Maine the Indian tribe named Saco attacked the colonists during next year and half.
1681 – King Charles I ordered the grant of Royal charter including ownership on land to Pennsylvania that was established as William Penn, a Quaker.
1682 – La Salle, an explorer from France, discovered the territory of the Mississippi Valley and declared it the French colony and gave it the name of Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV.
1682 – The raising of the immigration wave, involving Quakers and other migrants from Germany and Britain state.
1685 – The Duke of York was crowned as King James II of England.
1685 – King Louis XIV declined the power of the Edict of Nantes that meant the cancellation of freedom of religion. Because of that, many Protestants moved from France to America.
1686 – King James II unified the colonies of New England with a purpose to deprive colonists of their political rights they enacted by themselves and regulate their activities. The legislative authorities were dismissed and the representatives assigned by King obtained all the judicial and legislative power.
1687 – In March the Royal Governor in New England Sir Edmund Andros approved a decision to reconstruct Boston`s Old South Meeting House into an Anglican Church. In August, Ipswich and Topsfield located in Massachusetts organized a protest against taxation without representation rights enacted by Gov. Andros.
1688 – In March, Gov. Andros restricted the number of the town meetings to one for every year in New England. Consequently, the governor was obligated to control the activity of all militias.
1688 – In Pennsylvania Quakers protested against the slavery in North America.
1688 – In December, English King James II ran away to escape to France because of confrontation with the dominant English leaders.
1689 – In February, William and Mary of Orange were crowned as King and Queen of England. In April Gov. Andros was incarcerated by the leaders of colonists after their protest in Boston. In July, the English government issued an order to return Andros to England and to begin the proceeding in the trial.
1690 – Because of the beginning of King William`s War in Europe between the French and the English it expanded to the colonies. In February, Schenectady, New York was on fire committed by the alliance of the French and Native Americans.
1691 – In New York Henry Slaughter was recently appointed by the English authorities to a position of Governor of New England. He came to America to head the colonial government. In October, the updated charter implemented by the English Crown stated that the government should be headed by the English governor and council.
1692 – In May, panic occurred in the village of Salem located in Massachusetts and as the result people suspected of black magic were imprisoned. Therefore the governor established a trial to settle the confrontation. During the time between June and September, 150 persons were condemned, after that 20 persons among them (including 14 women) were beheaded. Only in October the situation was resolved, the prisoners were discharged and the trial finished its proceedings.
1693 – King William III and Queen Mary II ordered the letters patent aimed to found the College in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was named the College of William & Mary in honor of its founders and was the second education establishment in America.
1696 – The position of the Royal African Trade Company decreased significantly because of the losing of its oligopoly in slavery market. However, it engaged the colonists into the slave trade offering them good benefits. The law empowered the custom commissioners in colonies with the rights of forceful entry and obligated to place the binders on the some kinds of goods.
1697 – The Massachusetts court stated penitence concerning the proceeding exercised by the judges in the period of 1692, when the witch panic was occurred. Members of jury concluded a statement of regret and assigned reimbursement for families of persons who were accused unreasonably. In the end of September the French and the English sides agreed and concluded the Treaty of Ryswick that caused the end of King William`s War.
1699 – The Parliament of England upheld the Wool Act aimed to increase the taxation and control over the wool producing and trade in colonials. It was devoted to protect the national British wool industry in a way of restrictions on the quantity of wool production in Ireland and prohibition of the export of it from the colonies.
1700 – The number of English settlers in British colonies increased up to 250,000 persons.