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Age of Jackson Resources

The Common Man Timeline

1789: George Washington is the unanimous choice to become the first President of the United States.


1789: President Washington begins to meet regularly with the heads of the Executive Departments (State, Treasury and War), known as the "Cabinet".


1794: George Washington personally leads the army to supress the Whiskey Rebellion, proving that the Constitution and the federal government can survive challenges to their authority.


1796: President Washington retires after two terms and gives his Farewell Address in which he warns of the dangers of political parties and urges the United States to stay neutral in foreign affairs.


1796: In a contested election, Federalist John Adams defeats Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson to become our second President. Laws in effect at the time dictate that the defeated Jefferson now serve as Adam's Vice President.


1797: The French are attacking American ships at sea and demand bribes to stop. Adams refuses to pay and exposes the "XYZ Affair" to the world.


1798: Federalists in Congress pass the Sedition Act of 1798, making it illegal to criticize anyone in the federal government. Democratic-Republicans are infuriated and believe the Act violates freedom of speech.


1799: Madison and Jefferson publish the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves in which they lay out an idea of nulification, tat the states have the power to ignore any federal law they don't agree with.


1800: Thomas Jefferson wins a close and bitterly contested Presidential election in which no candidate receives a majority of the Electoral votes, so the election is decided in the House of Representatives.


1765: The British Parliament passes the Stamp Acts to collect taxes directly from the American colonies.


1767: The Stamp Acts are repealed and replaced by a set of tariffs known as the Townsend Acts.


1770: American protestors in Boston are fired upon by British soldiers in what the colonists will call The Boston Massacre.


1773: Protesting the Tea Acts, angry colonists destroy a shipment of tea in what becomes known as "The Boston Tea Party".


1774: Parliament passes the Intolerable Acts, suspending colonial governments and shutting down the port of Boston.


1775: British soldiers attempt to confiscate the weapons of the colonial militia. The colonists fight back, resulting in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. In Philadelphia, the 2nd Continental Congress meets to organize the revolution.


1777: Decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga convinces the French to aid the colonists.


1777-78: Continental Army spends the winter at Valley Forge where Baron Von Steuben arrives and trains the soldiers.


1781: The British Army is defeated at the Battle of Yorktown, ending the Revolutionary War.


1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed and American independence is achieved.


1785: Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance, regulating the settling of the Ohio River lands.


1786-87: Angry over taxes and foreclosures, farmers in New England take up arms in Shay's Rebellion.


1787: The Constitutional Convention meets in Philadelphia to write a new governing document for the United States.


1789-90: North Carolina and Rhode Island are the last two states to ratify the Constitution, making it the law of the land.