Historical Timeline Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022
North AmericaThe WorldLeif Ericson lands in North America, c. 10001000The First Crusade begins, 1096Iroquois Constitution, c. 12001200Magna Carta, 1215The Inquisition begins under Pope Gregory IX, 1231Mandan migrate from the Ohio Valley, 12501300The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy, c. 1325Journal of the First Voyage of Columbus, Christopher Columbus, 14921400Joan of Arc is burned at the stake as a witch, 1431St. Augustine, Florida is established by the Spanish; it is the first town established by Europeans in the US, 1565Sir Walter Raleigh founds North Carolina, the first English colony in North America, 1587Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, is born, 1587. 1500Hernando Cortes conquers Mexico, 1519Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific, 1521The English defeat the Spanish Armada, 1588The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown, 1619The House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America, meets for the first time, 1619The Mayflower lands in Cape Cod, 1620The Articles of Confederation of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford, 1621Peter Minuit buys Manhattan from Indians, 16261600Don Quixote, the first modern novel, is published, 1605Shakespeare publishes his sonnets, 1609Galileo observes the moons of Jupiter, 1610The Thirty Years’ War begins, 1618The first English newspaper, Corante, appears, 1621Boston is founded by Massachusetts colonists led by John Winthrop, 1630North America’s first university is founded at Cambridge in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Limitation of Government, John Cotton, 1639A Key into the Language of America, Roger Williams, 16431625End of the Thirty Years’ War, German population cut in half, 1648Charles I is put on trial for fighting a war against Parliament and is beheaded, 1649Rhode Island enacts the first law in the colonies declaring slavery illegal, 1652The Virginia Slave Laws, Act I, III, XII, with chapters XXII, XLIX, 16621650Parliament establishes the first of many Navigation Acts to preserve international trade for English ships, 1651The Great Plague kills 75,000 people in London, 1665King Philip’s War, 1675-1676Pennsylvania is founded as William Penn, a Quaker, receives a royal charter with a large land grant from King Charles II, 1681The Salem Witch Trials: The Case against John and Elizabeth Proctor, 16921675Ole Roemer, while working with Cassini in Paris, calculates the speed of light with an error of 25 percent, 1676Isaac Newton publishes Principia Mathematica, showing gravity is constant in all physical systems, 1687The Boston News Letter becomes the first newspaper in America, 1704French Colonists found New Orleans, 17181700The War of Spanish Succession begins, 1701Thomas Newcomen creates a piston steam engine, beginning the Industrial Revolution, 1710Fahrenheit perfects the mercury thermometer, 1714In Defense of John Zenger and the Press, Andrew Hamilton, 1733Zenger is acquitted of libel in New York, establishing freedom of the press, 1735Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God / On the Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, 1741, 17431725The War of Jenkin’s Ear begins, 1739British overcome Scots under Stuart Pretender Prince Charles at Culloden Moor; it is the last battle fought on British land, 1746Ben Franklin invents the lightning rod, 1752; also creates the first American political cartoon, the chopped-up snake with the caption “Join or Die,” urging the unity of the colonies, 17541750Publication of the Encyclopédie begins in France, the “bible” of the Enlightenment, 1751The first physical map of France is made by Jean Etienne Guettard, 1751
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