Pre 1700 Events
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Pre 1700 Events
Events 1760-1783
Time Line 1700-1800


Events prior to 1700

A little perspective of events that occurred prior to 1700. Many of these events set the stage of things to come. One could say each of these events had a direct connection to the Europeans coming to America, then coming to Ohio and Hicksville
You should also read the Columbian Exchange which discusses what the impact of these events had on America, Europe and even Asia.
Click here for that story

Time Line Part One - Before 1700 AD

1215 The Magna Carta is adopted in England to guarantee liberties to the English citizens.  It proclaimed the basic rights and procedures. Later it would become the foundation of modern democracy.
1492 Christopher Columbus seeking a route to the East makes his first trip and ends up on October 12 in the Bahamas.
1497 Englishman John Cabot explores the Atlantic coast of Canada and claims the area for the King Henry VII. Cabot was the first of many European explorers seeking a Northwest Passage (water route) to Asia.
1499 Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci discovers the eastern coast of South America during a voyage of discovery for Spain
1507 The name "America" was first used in a geography book referring to the New World. Amerigo Vespucci is given credit for the discovery of the new continent.
1513 Ponce de León of Spain lands in Florida
1517 Martin Luther launches the Protestant Reformation in Europe, bringing an end to the sole authority of the Catholic Church
1519 Hernando Cortés conquers the Aztec empire in Central America
1524 Giovanni da Verrazano, sailing for France, lands in the area around the Carolinas. He sails north and discovers the Hudson River and continues northward to Narragansett Bay and Nova Scotia.
1541 Hernando de Soto of Spain discovers the Mississippi River
1565 The first permanent European colony founded in North America is established St. Augustine (Florida) by the Spanish
1587 The first English child, Virginia Dare, is born in Roanoke (Virginia), August 18
1588 England defeats Spanish Armada making England the dominant world power. This leads to a gradual decline of the Spanish influence in the New World and the widening of English control.
1606 The London Company of England sponsors a colonizing expedition to Virginia
1607 Colonists of the London Company establish the Jamestown settlement in  Virginia. Before the year was out starvation and disease reduce the original 105 settlers to just 32 survivors.
1608 Another 110 colonists arrive at Jamestown in January. The following December the first exports are sent from Jamestown back to England.  These include lumber and iron ore.
1609 Henry Hudson is sponsored by The Dutch East India Company from the Netherlands for a seven month voyage of exploration to North America. He sails up the Hudson River to Albany in September.
  Native tobacco is first planted and harvested in Virginia by colonists.
1613 A Dutch trading post is established on lower Manhattan island
1616 Tobacco becomes a primary export from Virginia
  A smallpox epidemic decimates the Indian population in New England
1619 Slavery is introduced to American. Twenty Africans are brought by a Dutch ship to Jamestown for sale
  The Virginia House of Burgesses convenes in Jamestown as the first session of the a legislative assembly in America. It consists of 22 burgesses representing 11 plantations.
1620 The Mayflower lands at Cape Cod, Massachusetts on November 9 with 101 colonists. On November 11, the Mayflower Compact, signed by the 41 men, establishes a form of local government in which the colonists agree to abide by majority rule and to cooperate for the general good of the colony. The Mayflower Compact sets a precedent for other colonies as they set up governments
  The first public library in the colonies is organized in Virginia with books donated by English landowners
1621 The Plymouth Pilgrims sign one of the first treaties between colonists and Native Americans for a peace pact with the Wampanoag Tribe, with the aid of Squanto, an English speaking Indian
1624 The Dutch West Indies Company sponsors thirty Dutch families for New Amsterdam (later New York)
  The King of England revokes The Virginia Company's charter. Virginia is declared a Royal colony
1626 Peter Minuit, a Dutch colonist, buys Manhattan island from the local Indians for 60 guilders (about $24). He names the island New Amsterdam
1629 King Charles I dissolves Parliament and to rule as absolute monarch. Many English leave for the American colonies
1630 John Winthrop leads a group of 900 Puritan colonists to Massachusetts Bay in March. He will serve as the first governor. Boston is officially established in September, and serves as the site of Winthrop's government
1633 The colonists in Dorchester, Massachusetts organize the first town government
1634 200 settlers, many of them Catholic, establish the first settlement in Maryland as granted to a Roman Catholic, Lord Baltimore, by King Charles I.
1635 Boston Latin School is established as the first public school in America
1636 Roger Williams establishes Providence and Rhode Island in June. Williams had been banished from Massachusetts for "new and dangerous opinions".  He was calling for religious and political freedoms, including separation of church and state, which was not granted under the Puritan rules. Providence then becomes a haven for many other colonists fleeing religious intolerance
  Harvard College is founded
1638 Anne Hutchinson is banished from Massachusetts for nonconformist religious views. She advocated personal revelation over the role of the clergy. She goes to Rhode Island with her family.
  The first colonial printing press is set up in Cambridge, Massachusetts
1640-1659 The English Civil War erupts between the Royalists of King Charles I and the Parliamentary army, the result was defeat for the Royalists and the downfall of the monarchy. On January 30, 1649, King Charles I is beheaded. England then becomes a Commonwealth and a Protectorate ruled by Oliver Cromwell.
1646 In Massachusetts the general court approves a law that makes religious heresy a crime punishable by death
1652 Rhode Island passes the first law in the colonies declaring slavery illegal
1660 The English monarchy is restored by King Charles II
  The Navigation Act is passed in England requiring exclusive use of English ships for trade with the English Colonies. It limits exports of tobacco and sugar and other commodities to England or its colonies
1663 King Charles II establishes the colony of Carolina and grants the territory to eight of his loyal supporters
  The Navigation Act of 1663 requires that imports to the colonies must be transported via England and must be on English ships
1664 The British Navy blockades the Dutch New Netherland colony.  Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders to the British. The English rename the colony New York.
  Maryland passes a law making lifelong servitude for black slaves permanent to prevent them from taking advantage of legal precedents established in England which granted freedom under certain conditions, such as conversion to Christianity. Similar laws are later passed in New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas and Virginia.
1672 The Royal Africa Company is given a monopoly in the English slave trade
1673 Dutch military forces retake New York from the British
  The British Navigation Act of 1673 sets up an office of customs commissioner in the colonies to collect duties on goods that pass between plantations.
1674 The Treaty of Westminster ends the conflict between the English and the Dutch. The Dutch return its colonies in America to the English.
1675-1676 King Philip's War erupts in New England between colonists and the Indians as a result of tensions over the colonist's expansionist activities. A bloody war rages up and down the Connecticut River valley in Massachusetts and in the Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies. 600 English colonials are killed and 3,000 Indians, including women and children on both sides. King Philip (the colonist's nickname for Metacomet, chief of the Wampanoags) is hunted down and killed on August 12, 1676, in a swamp in Rhode Island. This ended the war in southern New England and the independent power of Indians there. In New Hampshire and Maine, the Saco Indians continue to raid settlements for another year and a half.
1681 William Penn, a Quaker, founds Pennsylvania. He received a Royal charter and a large land grant from King Charles II.
1682 French explorer La Salle explores the lower Mississippi Valley region and claims it for France. He names the area Louisiana for King Louis XIV.
  A large wave of immigrants, including many Quakers, arrives in Pennsylvania from Germany and the British Isles
1685 The Duke of York ascends the British throne as King James II
  Protestants in France lose their guarantee of religious freedom as King Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes. Many leave for America.
1686 King James II starts consolidating the colonies of New England into a single Dominion depriving colonists of their local political rights and independence. Legislatures are dissolved and the King's representatives assume all judicial and legislative power
1687 In March, the New Royal Governor, Sir Edmund Andros, orders Boston's Old South Meeting House to be converted into an Anglican Church. In August, the Massachusetts towns of Ipswich and Topsfield resist assessments imposed by Governor Andros in protest of taxation without representation
1688 In March, Royal Governor Andros imposes a limit of one annual town meeting for New England towns. The Governor then orders all militias to be placed under his control
  Quakers in Pennsylvania issue a formal protest against slavery in America
  In December, King James II of England flees to France after being deposed
1689 In February, William and Mary of Orange become King and Queen of England. In April, the Royal Governor Andros is jailed by rebellious colonists in Boston. In July, the English government orders Andros to be returned to England to stand trial
1690 The beginning of King William's War as hostilities in Europe between the French and English spill over to the colonies. In February, Schenectady, New York is burned by the French and their Indian allies
1691 In New York, the newly appointed Governor of New England, Henry Sloughter, arrives from England. He institutes royally sanctioned representative government. In October, Massachusetts gets a new royal charter which includes a government by a royal governor and a governor's council.
1692 Hysteria grips the village of Salem, Massachusetts in May, as witchcraft suspects are arrested and imprisoned. A special court is set up by the governor of Massachusetts. Between June and September, 150 persons are accused of being witches, 20 persons, including 14 women, are executed. By October, the hysteria subsides, the remaining prisoners are released and the special court is dissolved
1693 The College of William and Mary is founded in Williamsburg, Virginia
1696 The Royal African Trade Company loses its slave trade monopoly. Merchants in New England to begin slave trading. The Navigation Act of 1696 in April is passed by the English Parliament requiring colonial trade to be done exclusively via English built ships. The Act also expands the powers of colonial custom commissioners, including rights of forcible entry, and requires the posting of bonds on certain goods
1697 The Massachusetts general court expresses official repentance regarding the actions of its judges during the witch hysteria of 1692. Jurors sign a statement of regret. Compensation is offered to families of those wrongly accused.
  King William's War ends in September. The French and English sign the Treaty of Ryswick
1699 The English Parliament passes the Wool Act, protecting its own wool industry by limiting wool production in Ireland and forbidding the export of wool from the American colonies
1700 The White population of the British colonies is about 250,000


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