The American Revolution Brief Chronology

Boston Massacre, 1770
1763
King George III signs the Proclamation of 1763 prohibiting English settlement west of the Appalachians.
1763
The Sugar Act is passed, increasing duties on imported sugar, textiles, coffee, wines and indigo dye.
1764
The Currency Act is passed, prohibiting the colonists from issuing paper money.
1765
The Stamp Act imposes the first direct tax on the American colonies to be paid directly to the British Crown. The Stamp Act Congress convenes in New York City and passes a resolution calling on King George III to repeal the Act and the Acts of 1764. Violence ensues as colonists refuse to pay the tax.
1766
The Stamp Act is repealed, but the English Parliament passes the Declaratory Act asserting the British government's absolute authority over the American colonies.
1767
Townshend Revenue Acts are passed, taxing imported paper, tea, glass, lead and paints.
1769
Royal Governor of Virginia dissolves the Virginia House of Burgesses in response to its official condemnation of "taxation without representation."
1770
The Boston Massacre British soldiers open fire on a crowd of colonists who had been harassing them. Five are killed and six are wounded. That same year, the Townshend Acts are repealed and import duties are removed from all items but tea.

Boston Tea Party, 1773
1773
The Tea Act is passed maintaining the long-standing tax on imported tea. Also gives the British East India Company a virtual monopoly on tea by allowing it to bypass the tax.
1773
The Boston Tea Party Disputes over the Tea Act come to a boil as colonists, disguised as Mohawk Indians, board British ships and dump 342 containers of tea into the harbor.
1774
Coercive Acts are passed effectively ending self-rule in Massachusetts.
1774
The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia with every colony represented by Georgia. In attendance are George Washington, Patrick Henry and John Hancock. Declaration of Resolves is passed, asserting rights of colonists and rejecting absolute British authority over colonies.
1775
Tensions are heightened as England Declares Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion. The New England Restraining Act is also passed, requiring the Colonies to trade only with Britain. Patrick Henry gives a speech in which he declares "give me liberty or give me death."
Later that same year, British troops headed to destroy a weapons depot at Concord are confronted by Massachusetts militiamen and the "shot heard round the world" begins the American Revolution. The Second Continental Congress convenes and unanimously appoints George Washington as General of the Continental Army.

Declaration of Independence, 1776
1776
As fighting continues, Thomas Paine writes "Common Sense." The Colonists secure financial backing for the Revolution from France. The 13 colonies form their own governments under the authority of the Continental Congress. The Declaration of Independence is drafted and signed. After a series of defeats, Gen. Washington scores a stunning victory at the Battle of Trenton.
1777
First American flag commissioned by Congress. Marquis de Lafayette, a 19 year-old French aristocrat volunteers, without pay, and becomes a major general and one of Washington's closest advisors. Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, establishing the first real government for the new nation.
1778
Americans sign treaties with France, formally allying themselves together against Britain. The fight for independence takes first steps toward becoming a world war.

Cornwalis Surrenders to Washington
1781
After a prolonged and costly war, the British General Cornwallis surrenders to Washington's troops after the siege of Yorktown. The British Parliament votes to end the war and authorizes the King to negotiate the peace with the Americans.
1782
An initial peace treaty is signed in Paris recognizing American independence and agreeing to the British withdrawal from American soil. 
1783
Washington convinces Revolutionary War officers not to rebel against the new American government because of its failures to keep promises to the Continental Army. The Treaty of Paris is signed.
1784
The Treaty of Paris is ratified by the Congress. The war is officially over.