Alternate History

Timeline (American Commonwealth)

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1607 - The first successful English colony is established at Jamestown, in what would come to be known as Virginia.

1609 - Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for Holland, charters much of what will become New York City and the Hudson River Valley aboard his ship Halve Maen.

1620 - Plymouth Colony is established by Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts.

1629 - Massachusetts Bay Colony is established by Puritan settlers.

1632 - The Province of Maryland is established.

1636 - Providence Settlement established by Massachusetts exile Roger Williams in what will come to be known as Rhode Island. Neighboring Connecticut Colony is also established the same year.

1663 - The Province of Carolina is established, eventually dividing into North and South colonies by 1720.

1674 - After changing hands twice, England takes control of New Netherland and its prominent capital and port city New Amsterdam (also known as New Orange) for good. Both the province and city are renamed New York.

1681 - William Penn founds the Province of Pennsylvania.

1691 - New Hampshire separates from Massachusetts Colony.

1701 - Delaware Colony is established.

1702 - New Jersey colony is established.

1707 - The Kingdom of Great Britain is formed.

1732 - James Oglethorpe is given a corporate charter and establishes the Province of Georgia.

1754-1763 - Britain and France engage in the Seven Years' War. The war's North American theatre comes to be called the French and Indian War. Britain emerges victorious, having all of New France and Florida ceded to it.

1770 - Five civilians are killed in Boston at the hands of British soldiers, sparking long-mounting tensions and fueling rebellious sentiment among colonists in the New England colonies.

1775 - Skirmishes in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts break out between irregular colonial militia and British troops. An unsanctioned Continental Congress is established by colonial representatives in Philadelphia to negotiate with Britain to little effect.

1775 - Colonial troops under General Benedict Arnold invade Québec but are driven from Canada early the following year.

1776 - General Sir William Howe takes control of New York City after defeating Colonial General George Washington and driving his army out of the city and its surrounding areas.

24 December 1776 - Point of Divergence - American spy John Honeyman, tasked with misleading Royal and Hessian intelligence is discovered and captured by British agents in Trenton, New Jersey. Under interrogation he reveals General Washington's plans to attack the Hessian garrison on Christmas night.

26 December 1776 - Believing to be poised to catch the Hessians off guard, Washington launches his attack on Trenton and is quickly ambushed by the entrenched and expectant enemy forces, bolstered by a battalion of British troops called in to reinforce the Hessians. Washington himself is killed along with 1500 of his 2400 men in what becomes known to the patriots as "The Massacre at Trenton". With their iconic leader dead, Colonial morale takes a major blow and many revolutionaries desert the cause over the long and arduous winter.

January 1777 - Benedict Arnold is named Washington's successor as Commanding General of the Continental Army.

1777 - The Continental Army continues to suffer several blistering defeats throughout the spring and summer albeit holding firm in both New England and the area surrounding its capital, Philadelphia. General Arnold alongside General Horatio Gates move a depleted force to upstate New York in the hopes of driving back General John Burgoyne's army and preventing the British from cutting off New England from the Mid Atlantic colonies. Rumors of France entering the war on the colonists' side in the wake of a major victory also fuel Arnold and give a glimmer of hope to weary colonial forces.

19 September 1777 - Arnold confronts Burgoyne outside Saratoga, New York and fights him to an inconclusive draw on a swath of farmland and surrounding hills known as Freeman's Farm.

25 September 1777 - Having bypassed Philadelphia to support Burgoyne's army, General Howe arrives in Saratoga to bolster his weakened comrade. Arnold, still reeling from his embarrassing stalemate at Freeman's Farm and at odds with Gates, is routed with his already crippled army by the double-pronged British attack and is chased back into New England. He is removed from his position as General of the Army within a week and replaced by Gates, who is recalled to Philadelphia with the remnants of his army.

Autumn 1777 - Despite being immensely popular in the French court, Colonial Ambassador Benjamin Franklin is unable to win French military of finanical support for the cause of American Independence, which Louis XVI famously dismisses as "an exercise in frivolity". Franklin is, however, allowed to take up permanent residence in Versailles and dies there in exile in 1790.

Winter 1777 - Burgoyne's forces march on New England, slowly but surely pushing colonial forces to the sea.

April 1778 - Boston falls to Burgoyne's army while the Continental Army in New England is reduced to guerrilla fighters who put little more than token resistance in the hinterland of New Hampshire and upper Massachusetts (OTL Maine).

May 1778 - Fearing brutal retribution, the Continental Congress scrambles to arrange a peace with Britain. After months of negotiation, a conditional surrender is accepted that recognizes the King's dominion of the colonies and levies harsh taxes upon them as reparations for their insurgency. It does, however, also grant all former rebels a blanket immunity from prosecution of treason and respects the property and civil rights of all those involved in the signing of the so called "Declaration of Independence" and the founding of the short lived United States of America it proclaimed.

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