English Colonial Era
1700 to 1763
From The History Place
1700 - The Anglo population in the English colonies in America reaches 275,000, with Boston (pop. 7000) as the largest city, followed by New York (pop. 5000).
1700 - In June, Massachusetts passes a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave the colony within three months, upon penalty of life imprisonment or execution. New York then passes a similar law.
1701 - In July, The French establish a settlement at Detroit. In October, Yale College is founded in Connecticut.
1702 - In March, Queen Anne ascends the English throne. In May, England declares war on France after the death of the King of Spain, Charles II, to stop the union of France and Spain. This War of the Spanish Succession is called Queen Anne's War in the colonies, where the English and American colonists will battle the French, their Native American allies, and the Spanish for the next eleven years.
1702 - In Maryland, the Anglican Church is established as the official church, financially supported by taxation imposed on all free men, male servants and slaves.
1704 - In April, the first enduring newspaper in America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.
1705 - In Virginia, slaves are assigned the status of real estate by the Virginia Black Code of 1705. In New York, a law against runaway slaves assigns the death penalty for those caught over 40 miles north of Albany. Massachusetts declares marriage between African Americans and whites to be illegal.
1706 - January 17, Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston. In November, South Carolina establishes the Anglican Church as its official church.
1707 - England, Scotland and Wales are combined into the United Kingdom of Great Britain by the Act of the Union, endorsed by Queen Anne.
1710 - The English Parliament passes the Post Office Act which starts a postal system in the American colony controlled by the postmaster general of London and his deputy in New York City.
1711 - Hostilities break out between Native Americans and settlers in North Carolina after the massacre of settlers there. The conflict, known as the Tuscarora Indian War will last two years.
1712 - In May, the Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina. In June, the Pennsylvania assembly bans the import of slaves into that colony. In Massachusetts, the first sperm whale is captured at sea by an American from Nantucket.
1713 - Queen Anne's War ends with the Treaty of Utrecht.
1714 - Tea is introduced for the first time into the American Colonies. In August, King George I ascends to the English throne, succeeding Queen Anne.
1716 - The first group of black slaves is brought to the Louisiana territory.
1718 - New Orleans is founded by the French.
1720 - The population of American colonists reaches 475,000. Boston (pop. 12,000) is the largest city, followed by Philadelphia (pop. 10,000) and New York (pop. 7000).
1725 - The population of black slaves in the American colonies reaches 75,000.
1726 - Riots occur in Philadelphia as poor people tear down the pillories and stocks and burn them.
1727 - King George II ascends the English throne.
1728 - Jewish colonists in New York City build the first American synagogue.
1729 - Benjamin Franklin begins publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, which eventually becomes the most popular colonial newspaper.
1730 - Baltimore is founded in the Maryland colony.
1731 - The first American public library is founded in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin.
1732 - February 22, George Washington is born in Virginia. Also in February, the first mass is celebrated in the only Catholic church in colonial America, in Philadelphia. In June, Georgia, the 13th English colony, is founded.
1732-1757 - Benjamin Franklin publishes Poor Richard's Almanac, containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, selling nearly 10,000 copies per year.
1733 - The Molasses Act, passed by the English Parliament, imposes heavy duties on molasses, rum and sugar imported from non-British islands in the Caribbean to protect the English planters there from French and Dutch competition.
1734 - In November, New York newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger is arrested and accused of seditious libel by the Governor. In December, the Great Awakening religious revival movement begins in Massachusetts. The movement will last ten years and spread to all of the American colonies.
1735 - John Peter Zenger is brought to trial for seditious libel but is acquitted after his lawyer successfully convinces the jury that truth is a defense against libel.
1737 - The first colonial copper coins are minted, in Connecticut.
1739 - England declares war on Spain. As a result, in America, hostilities break out between Florida Spaniards and Georgia and South Carolina colonists. Also in 1739, three separate violent uprisings by black slaves occur in South Carolina.
1740 - Fifty black slaves are hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, after plans for another revolt are revealed. Also in 1740, in Europe, the War of the Austrian Succession begins after the death of Emperor Charles VI and eventually results in France and Spain allied against England. The conflict is known in the American colonies as King George's War and lasts until 1748.
1741 - Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, sponsors an expedition by Danish navigator Vitus Bering to explore the coast of Alaska.
1743 - The American Philosophical Society is founded in Philadelphia by Ben Franklin and his associates.
1747 - The New York Bar Association is founded in New York City.
1750 - The Iron Act is passed by the English Parliament, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American colonies to protect the English Iron industry.
1751 - The Currency Act is passed by the English Parliament, banning the issuing of paper money by the New England colonies.
1752 - The first general hospital is founded, in Philadelphia.
1753 - Benjamin Franklin and William Hunter are appointed as postmasters general for the American colonies.
1754 - The French and Indian War erupts as a result of disputes over land in the Ohio River Valley. In May, George Washington leads a small group of American colonists to victory over the French, then builds Fort Necessity in the Ohio territory. In July, after being attacked by numerically superior French forces, Washington surrenders the fort and retreats.
1755 - In February, English General Edward Braddock arrives in Virginia with two regiments of English troops. Gen. Braddock assumes the post of commander in chief of all English forces in America. In April, Gen. Braddock and Lt. Col. George Washington set out with nearly 2000 men to battle the French in the Ohio territory. In July, a force of about 900 French and Indians defeat those English forces. Braddock is mortally wounded. Massachusetts Governor William Shirley then becomes the new commander in chief.
1756 - England declares war on France, as the French and Indian War in the colonies now spreads to Europe.
1757 - In June, William Pitt becomes England's Secretary of State and escalates the French and Indian War in the colonies by establishing a policy of unlimited warfare. In July, Benjamin Franklin begins a five year stay in London.
1758 - In July, a devastating defeat occurs for English forces at Lake George, New York, as nearly two thousand men are lost during a frontal attack against well entrenched French forces at Fort Ticonderoga. French losses are 377. In November, the French abandon Fort Duquesne in the Ohio territory. Settlers then rush into the territory to establish homes. Also in 1758, the first Indian reservation in America is founded, in New Jersey, on 3000 acres.
1759 - French Fort Niagara is captured by the English. Also in 1759, war erupts between Cherokee Indians and southern colonists.
1760 - The population of colonists in America reaches 1,500,000. In March, much of Boston is destroyed by a raging fire. In September, Quebec surrenders to the English. In October, George III becomes the new English King.
1762 - England declares war on Spain, which had been planning to ally itself with France and Austria. The British then successfully attack Spanish outposts in the West Indies and Cuba.
1763 - The French and Indian War, known in Europe as the Seven Year's War, ends with the Treaty of Paris. Under the treaty, France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba.
1763 - In May, the Ottawa Native Americans under Chief Pontiac begin all-out warfare against the British west of Niagara, destroying several British forts and conducting a siege against the British at Detroit. In August, Pontiac's forces are defeated by the British near Pittsburgh. The siege of Detroit ends in November, but hostilities between the British and Chief Pontiac continue for several years.