Timeline for France and the American War of Independence

1763

1763, February 10
First Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War. France cedes Canada and territories east of the Mississippi to Britain.
1763, February 10

1764

1764, April 5
British Parliament passes the Sugar Act.
1764, April 5

1765

1765, March 22
British Parliament passes the Sugar Act.
1765, March 22
1765, March 24
British Parliament passes the Quartering Act.
1765, March 24

1767

1767, June 29
British Parliament passes the Townshend Act imposing duties on tea, paper, and other items imported into the colonies.
1767, June 29

1770

1770, March 5
British troops in Boston fire on rioters. The event becomes known as the Boston Massacre.
1770, March 5
1770, April 12
Repeal of most of the Townshend Act duties.
1770, April 12

1772

1772, June 9
The British revenue schooner Gaspée runs aground off Warwick and is looted and burned to the waterline the following day.
1772, June 9

1773

1773, December 16
Boston Tea Party.
1773, December 16

1774

1774, March 31
Boston Tea Party.
1774, March 31
1774, May 20
British Parliament passes the Quebec Act, sharpening the divide between Canada and the lower 13 colonies.
1774, May 20
1774, September 5
First session of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. It will adjourn in October.
1774, September 5

1775

1775, February 9
British Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in rebellion.
1775, February 9
1775, April 19
Battles of Lexington and Concord.
1775, April 19
1775, May 10
First session of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
1775, May 10
1775, June 14
Congress establishes the Continental Army and appoints George Washington its commander-in-chief the following day.
1775, June 14

1776

1776, April
Silas Deane sent to Paris to obtain military supplies and skilled military engineers for the Continental Army.
1776, April
1776, June
Hortalez & Cie. receives an initial one million livres from French Government, and another million from Spain, via the French Minister.
1776, June
1776, July 4
Congress ratifies the Declaration of Independence.
1776, July 4

1777

1777, February
Duportail, first of about 100 French volunteers, joins the Continental Army.
1777, February
1777, July 31
Congress appoints the marquis de Lafayette a major-general.
1777, July 31
1777, October 12
British forces under General John Burgoyne are surrounded at Saratoga. They surrender within a week.
1777, October 12

1778

1778, February 6
French-American treaty of Amity and Friendship and a secret Treaty of Military Alliance signed.
1778, February 6
1778, May 4
French treaty recognizing American independence ratified by Continental Congress.
1778, May 4
1778, June 17
First naval engagement of the war between French and British.
1778, June 17
1778, May 12
Charleston, South Carolina, falls to the British.
1778, May 12
1778, June 27
Naval battle off Ile d'Ouessant [Ushant] -- indecisive engagement between France and Great Britain (English Channel.)
1778, June 27
1778, June 28
Following the Battle of Monmouth, Lafayette returns to France and requests more assistance from the king.
1778, June 28
1778, July 11 - August 31
French Admiral D'Estaing's unsuccessful naval operations at New York and at Newport.
1778, July 11 - August 31
1778, September 7
French capture Dominica (West Indies.)
1778, September 7
1778, September 14
British capture St. Pierre-et-Miquelon Islands.
1778, September 14
1778, October 1
British capture Pondichery (India.)
1778, October 1
1778, October 9
Franco-American forces are defeated at Savannah, Georgia.
1778, October 9
1778, December 13
British capture St. Lucia (West Indies.)
1778, December 13
1778, December 13
French under duc de Lauzun capture St. Louis (Senegal.)
1778, December 13

1779

1779, April 5
An Acte Royal sets 17 June 1778 as starting date of hostilities with Great Britain.
1779, April 5
1779, May 1
Unsuccessful French raid on Jersey Islands. (English Channel.)
1779, May 1
1779, June 18
French capture St. Vincent (West Indies.)
1779, June 18
1779, July 4
French capture Grenada (West Indies.)
1779, July 4
1779, September 23 - October 20
D'Estaing and Americans conduct unsuccessful siege of Savannah (Georgia.)
1779, September 23 - October 20
1779, September 23
French troops at naval battle of Flambourgh Head (English Channel) -- (Bonhomme Richard vs HMS Serapis.)
1779, September 23

1780

1780, February 21 - May 12
French troops at failed defense of Charleston, SC.
1780, February 21 - May 12
1780, April 17, May 15 & 19
British and French forces engage in naval battles off Martinique (West Indies.)
1780, April 17, May 15 & 19
1780, April 27
Lafayette returns from France with the promise of more support.
1780, April 27
1780, July 10
Commanded by Admiral de Ternay, a fleet carrying some 450 officers and 5,300 men under the comte de Rochambeau sails into Narragansett Bay in Newport.
1780, July 10
1780, September 21
Generals Washington and Rochambeau meet at the Hartford Conference.
1780, September 21
1780, September 25
Benedict Arnold’s attempt to hand West Point over to the British fails.
1780, September 25

1781

1781, January 5
Unsuccessful French raid on Jersey Island. (English Channel). British capture Dutch possessions in West Indies, South America, Ceylon and India.
1781, January 5
1781, March 16
British and French naval battle off the Chesapeake Bay (1st 'Battle of the Virginia Capes').
1781, March 16
1781, May 16
British and French naval battle of Porto Praya (Cape Verde.)
1781, May 16
1781, May 10 - 12
French raid on St. Lucia (West Indies.)
1781, May 10 - 12
1781, May 22 - 24
Washington and Rochambeau meet at Wethersfield, Connecticut, to discuss their strategy for the upcoming campaign.
1781, May 22 - 24
1781, May 26
Spanish and French capture Pensacola (Florida).
1781, May 26
1781, June 4
French forces capture Tobago (West Indies.)
1781, June 4
1781, June 10
The French infantry leaves its winter quarters in Newport.
1781, June 10
1781, June 19
The Regiment Bourbonnois is the first French unit to cross into Connecticut from winter quarters in Rhode Island on its way to Philipsburg, New York.
1781, June 19
1781, June 21
Lauzun’s Legion leaves Lebanon, Connecticut, for Philipsburg, New York, on a route covering the left flank of the French infantry.
1781, June 21
1781, July 6
French forces join the Continental Army near Philipsburg, NY.
1781, July 6
1781, August 18
The Franco-American armies depart Philipsburg for Virginia.
1781, August 18
1781, August 19
Brigadier General Moses Hazen's Canadian Regiment (Congress' Own) and the combined New Jersey regiments cross the Hudson at Sneeden's Landing and march to Paramus.
1781, August 19
1781, August 21
The two regiments reach Springfield.
1781, August 21
1781, August 24
Major Sebastian Baumann's detachment encamps at Pompton.
1781, August 24
1781, August 25
Coming from Suffern, New York American forces under Generals Washington and Lincoln enter New Jersey.
1781, August 25
1781, August 26
The First Brigade of French forces enters New Jersey.
1781, August 26
1781, August 27 - 28
The Continental Army is encamped on the heights between Springfield and Chatham.
1781, August 27 - 28
1781, August 31
First elements of the Continental Army reach Trenton.
1781, August 31
1781, September 1
The first elements of the Continental Army embark in Trenton and/or cross the Delaware at Trenton for Philadelphia.
1781, September 1
1781, September 2
The Continental Army parades before Congress.
1781, September 2
1781, September 3
The First French Brigade parades before Congress.
1781, September 3
1781, September 4
The Second French Brigade parades before Congress.
1781, September 4
1781, September 4
The last elements of the Continental Army have crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.
1781, September 4
1781, September 5
At Marcus Hook, Washington receives news of the arrival of Admiral de Grasse in the Chesapeake Bay.
1781, September 5
1781, September 5
British and French naval battle off the Chesapeake Bay (2nd 'Battle of the Virginia Capes'.)
1781, September 5
1781, September 9
The first elements of the Continental Army and parts of the French army embark at Elkton and sail two days later. The remainder begins its march to Baltimore.
1781, September 9
1781, September 12
The flotilla reaches Annapolis.
1781, September 12
1781, September 19 - 21
French army embarks in Annapolis.
1781, September 19 - 21
1781, September 26
The allied forces are re-united in Williamsburg.
1781, September 26
1781, September 28 - October 19
American and French siege of Yorktown, VA.
1781, September 28 - October 19
1781, October 19
Cornwallis' troops march out of Yorktown.
1781, October 19
1781, November 1
The first detachments of the Continental Army begin the march north to winter quarters. French forces will spend the winter of 1781-82 in and around Williamsburg.
1781, November 1
1781, November 4
Admiral de Grasse sails from Yorktown for Martinique.
1781, November 4
1781, November 26
French capture St. Eustatius (West Indies.)
1781, November 26
1781, November - December
Continental Army troops march into and through Pennsylvania for their winter quarters in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
1781, November - December
1781, December
Lafayette sails back to France.
1781, December

1782

1782, January 6 - February 5
French and Spanish forces capture Fort St. Philip in Minorca.
1782, January 6 - February 5
1782, January 25 - 26
French capture St. Kitts (West Indies.)
1782, January 25 - 26
1782, February 18
British and French naval battle off Madras (India.)
1782, February 18
1782, February 20
French capture island of Nevis (West Indies.)
1782, February 20
1782, February 22
French capture Monserrat (West Indies.)
1782, February 22
1782, April 12
Royal Navy under Admiral Rodney destroys French naval squadron under Admiral de Grasse in Battle of the Saints.
1782, April 12
1782, July 1
Rochambeau’s infantry begins its march north to Boston.
1782, July 1
1782, July 6
British and French naval battle off Negapatan (India). July through March 1783. Unsuccessful Spanish and French blockade of Gibraltar.
1782, July 6
1782, July 14 - 24
Washington and Rochambeau meet in Philadelphia to discuss plans for the campaign of 1782.
1782, July 14 - 24
1782, July 17 - 20
French forces are encamped in Alexandria, Virginia.
1782, July 17 - 20
1782, July 24 - August 23
French forces are encamped in Baltimore.
1782, July 24 - August 23
1782, July 28
Rochambeau rejoins his forces in Baltimore.
1782, July 28
1782, August 8 - 31
French capture and destroy Fort Prince of Wales in Hudson Bay (Canada).
1782, August 8 - 31
1782, August 25 - 28
French besiege and capture Trincomalee (Ceylon.)
1782, August 25 - 28
1782, August 28
Lauzun's Legion departs from Baltimore.
1782, August 28
1782, August 29
Coming from Wilmington, Lauzun's Legion is the first French unit to enter Pennsylvania and encamps in Chester.
1782, August 29
1782, August 30
Lauzun's Legion camps in Philadelphia. The Bourbonnois Regiment camps in Chester.
1782, August 30
1782, August 31
With Rochambeau at its head, the Bourbonnois parades through Philadelphia before Congress and President Thomas McKean. Lauzun's Legion rests in Philadelphia.
1782, August 31
1782, September 1
The Bourbonnois rests in Philadelphia. The Royal Deux- Ponts parades through Philadelphia before Congress and Mckean. The Soissonnois camps in Chester. Lauzun's Legion leaves Philadelphia for Red Lion.
1782, September 1
1782, September 2
The Saintonge camps in Chester. The Soissonnois parades through Philadelphia before Congress and McKean. The Royal Deux-Ponts rests in Philadelphia. Rochambeau and Bourbonnois leave for Red Lion. Lauzun's Legion rests at Red Lion.
1782, September 2
1782, September 3
The Saintonge parades through Philadelphia before Congress and McKean. The Soissonnois rests in Philadelphia. The Royal Deux Ponts leaves for Red Lion. The Bourbonnois leaves Red Lion for Trenton. Lauzun's Legion in Trenton.
1782, September 3
1782, September 6
The last French forces cross the Delaware into New Jersey.
1782, September 6
1782, September 4 - 13
French forces cross New Jersey on the way to Boston.
1782, September 4 - 13
1782, October 25 - December 22
Lauzun's Legion crosses New Jersey on its way to winter quarters in Wilmington.
1782, October 25 - December 22
1782, November 30
Preliminaries of Peace between the United States and Great Britain signed in Paris.
1782, November 30
1782, December 9 - 11
Coming from Newburgh, New York, Rochambeau crosses New Jersey on his way to Philadelphia.
1782, December 9 - 11
1782, December 12
Rochambeau and his staff arrive in Philadelphia on the way to Baltimore. They stay until 2 January 1783.
1782, December 12
1782, December 21 - 23
Lauzun's Legion passes through Philadelphia on its way to winter quarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
1782, December 21 - 23
1782, December 25
French infantry sails from Boston for the Caribbean.
1782, December 25

1783

1783, January 20
Preliminaries of Peace are signed in Paris.
1783, January 20
1783, February 10
Rochambeau arrives in Saint-Nazaire.
1783, February 10
1783, March - July
French participate in capture of Voloze; siege of Mangalore.
1783, March - July
1783, April 3
Hostilities end in the territory of the United States.
1783, April 3
1783, April 16
Peace is proclaimed in Philadelphia.
1783, April 16
1783, May 11
Lauzun's Legion sails out of Philadelphia for France.
1783, May 11
1783, June 20
British and French naval battle off Cuddelore (India.)
1783, June 20
1783, September 3
Second Peace of Paris signed. Britain acknowledges the independence of the United States of America.
1783, September 3
1783, October 5
A final transport of 85 soldiers under Captain François Xavier Christophe baron de Hell of Lauzun's Legion sails from Baltimore on the Pintade and enters Brest on 10 November
1783, October 5
1783, November 2
Congress disbands the Continental Army.
1783, November 2

1784

1784, January 14
Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris.
1784, January 14

1785

1785, May 20
Land Ordinance adopted by the United States Congress of the Confederation.
1785, May 20

1786

1786, August 29
Shay’s Rebellion begins in Massachusetts against perceived economic and civil rights injustices.
1786, August 29

1787

1787, December 7
Delaware is the first state to ratify the Constitution.
1787, December 7

1788

1788, June 21
New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify the Constitution. With this ratification the constitution officially goes into force.
1788, June 21

1789

1789, February 4
George Washington is elected first president of the United States of America.
1789, February 4
1789, April 30
George Washington is sworn in as first president of the United States of America.
1789, April 30

1790

1790, May 29
Rhode Island becomes the last of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution.
1790, May 29