The Revolution and Constitution (1775-1789)
The American Revolution began on April 19, 1775 at Lexington. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 and years of war ensued before the new nation formally won its freedom. The current Constitution was ratified and went into effect in 1789.
To many, it's a great surprise that Charleston had a major part in the American Revolution. Read about the American victory at Fort Sullivan in 1776.
- 1775 - First shots of the Revolutionary War are fired at Lexington and Concord, forcing a British withdrawal.
- 1775 - The Continental Army, Continental Navy, and Continental Marines are formed to fight the Revolution. They will cooperate with numerous state regiments and militia.
- 1776 - The Declaration of Independence is signed on July 4th and sent to King George.
- 1781 - Lord Cornwallis surrenders his army at Yorktown, Virginia. His is the second British army to be lost in the struggle, after that of "Gentleman" Johnny Burgoyne.
- 1783 - The Treaty of Paris is signed, formalizing the United States' victory.
- 1784 - United States suffers a severe depression, exacerbated by currency shortage and unpaid debts. This has sometimes been called the 'Critical Period'.
- 1786 - Shays' Rebellion breaks out in Massachusetts.
- 1787 - The Northwest Ordinance is passed, formalizing Midwest settlement.
- 1787 - The Constitutional Convention is held in Philadelphia, resulting in the current United States Constitution.
- 1788 - The United States Constitution goes into effect with the ratification of New Hampshire -- the ninth state.
- 1789 - George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States.