Colonial Period Timeline and Dates

The Colonial period of America began in the early 17th century and lasted until American Independence.

In this article, we take a look at the colonial timeline.

1585 during the 16th Century the Roanoke Colony was established. However, it disappeared and was named the ‘Lost Colony‘. From here most of the actions and important
events of the Colonial period took place in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

17th Century Colonial Period Timeline

1606 – England’s King James 1 issued the first Virginia Charter. Eight Englishmen were given the authority to colonize Virginia.
1607 – The first colony was established in Jameson. It was named after King James of England.
1609 -1610 The period of Starving Time began. A number of colonists died of hunger and starvation during this period.
1612 – John Rolf established a tobacco plantation on the Jameson River.
1614 – Conflict between the English men and the Powhatan tribe on the Pamunkey River took place.
1619 – The Virginia House of Burgesses, which was the first representative government, held its meeting at Jamestown. First African slaves were brought to the colonies during this period as well.

1620 – Pilgrims established the Plymouth Colony in the New World. They used the Mayflower Compact to establish their government.
1622 – In Virginia, war erupted between the Native Indian Tribes and the colonists. The war lasted for two years.
1624 – Virginia became a Royal Colony.
1628 – Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Company. They made plans to establish a new colony in the Americas.
1630 – John Winthrop, along with 700 passengers and 11 ships, headed towards the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This ushered in the great migration to the colonies.
1637 – The Pequot War took place. Colonists defeated the Native Indians of the Connecticut and Rhode Islands.

1640 – The Beaver War began. It lasted until 1701.
1649 – The Tolerant Act was created which gave religious freedom to all Christians.
1651 – Navigation acts were created. These enabled England to regulate trade routes and collect taxes. Cash Crop Plantation and Slave Plantation Acts were also introduced.
1655 – The Peach Tree War took place. The Susquehannock Nation initiated it and many Native American tribes united under them.
1662 – Kings Charles formally recognized Connecticut as a colony.
1675 – England appointed the Lords of the Trade. They were given orders to enforce the new trading system and were asked to increase England’s profits. King Philip’s War also started during this period and lasted till 1677.

1677 – A rebellion was started against the colonial government in Carolina. It succeeded, and Culpeper became the new governor. However, he was removed in 1679. He attempted to implement an alternative Navigational Act during his brief time as governor.
1688 – King James II combined various independent colonies and formed the New England colonies. The French and the Indian Wars for the North American territory also took place in this year. These wars lasted till 1763.
1689 – The Glorious Revolution took place. Protestant monarch King William II and Queen Mary II ascended to the throne. They replaced the Catholic King James II and became official monarchs of England. The English Bill of Rights gave parliament the authority to control laws and taxes during the colonial period. The Glorious Revolution also positively affected the evolution of the colonies.
1691 – Plymouth became a part of Massachusetts. Salem Witch trials started the same year.
1696 – The policy of Saturday Neglect was established, which gave the colonies considerable freedom in economic matters.
1700 – The reign of Queen Anne began.