American History Timeline - 1701 - 1725

Reenactors in Colonial Williamsburg

Harvey Barrison from USA / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

The first quarter of the 18th century in America can be characterized as a time of conflict, with different European colonies—English, French, and Spanish—waging fierce and political battles against each other and Indigenous inhabitants over new territories and colonization strategies. Enslavement as a way of life became entrenched in the American colonies.


Fort Pontchartrain is built by the French at Detroit.

October 9: Yale College is founded. It will not become a university until 1887, one of nine universities established in Colonial America.

October 28: William Penn gives Pennsylvania its first constitution, called the Charter of Privileges.


April 17: New Jersey is formed when East and West Jersey are united under the authority of the New York governor.

May: Queen Anne’s War (The War of Spanish Succession) begins when England declares war on Spain and France. Later in the year, the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine falls to Carolina forces.

Cotton Mather publishes "The Ecclesiastical History of New England (Magnalia Christi Americana), 1620–1698."


May 12: Connecticut and Rhode Island agree upon a common boundary line.


February 29: During Queen Anne’s War, French and Abenaki Indigenous people destroy Deerfield, Massachusetts. Later in the year, New England colonists destroy two important supply villages in Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia).

April 24: The first regular newspaper, The Boston News-Letter, was published.

May 22: The first Delaware assembly meets at the town of New Castle.


The Virginia Black Code of 1705 is passed, restricting the travel of enslaved persons and naming them officially as "real estate." It read in part: "All servants imported and brought into the Country...who were not Christians in their native Country...shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion...shall be held to be real estate. If any slave resist his master...correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction...the master shall be free of all if such accident never happened."


January 17: Benjamin Franklin is born to Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger. 

August: French and Spanish soldiers unsuccessfully attack Charlestown, South Carolina during Queen Anne’s War.

Enslavement is introduced by French colonists in Louisiana after they raid Chitimacha settlements.


May 1: The United Kingdom of Great Britain is founded when the Act of the Union combines England, Scotland, and Wales.


December 21: The English settlement at Newfoundland is captured by French and Indigenous forces.


Massachusetts is becoming more willing to accept other religions, as evidenced by the Quakers being allowed to establish a meeting house in Boston.


October 5–13: The English capture Port Royal (Nova Scotia) and rename the settlement Annapolis.

December 7: A deputy governor is appointed over North Carolina, although the Carolinas are considered one colony.


September 22: The Tuscarora Indian War begins when North Carolina settlers are killed by Indigenous peoples.


The separation of North and South Carolina is officially enacted.

June 7: Pennsylvania bans the import of enslaved people into the colony.


March 23: When South Carolinian forces capture Fort Nohucke of the Tuscarora tribe, the remaining Indigenous peoples flee north and join the Iroquois Nation, ending the Tuscarora War.

April 11: The first of the peace treaties under the Treaty of Utrecht is signed, ending Queen Anne’s War. Acadia, Hudson Bay, and Newfoundland are given to the English.


August 1: King George I becomes the king of England. He would reign until 1727. 

Tea is introduced to the American colonies.


February: Charles, the fourth Lord Baltimore successfully petitions the crown for return to Maryland, but he dies before taking control of the colony.

May 15: Maryland is restored to William, the fifth Lord Baltimore.


Scots-Irish immigration begins in earnest due to higher rental rates in Great Britain.


Spring: New Orleans is founded (although not recorded, later the traditional date becomes May 7).

May 1: The Spanish found the city of San Antonio in the Texas territory.

The Valero mission is established at San Pedro Springs in present-day San Antonio by Fray Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares, a Franciscan missionary of the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro. It would later be renamed the Alamo.


May: Spanish settlers surrender Pensacola, Florida to French forces.

Two ships of enslaved Africans arrive in Louisiana, carrying rice farmers from the West Coast of Africa, the first such captives brought into the colony.


The three largest cities in the colonies are Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City.


South Carolina is named a royal colony and the first provisional governor arrives.

April: Robert Walpole becomes the English Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a period of “benign neglect” begins, which will have huge ramifications in the years leading up to the American Revolution.


The building later known as the Alamo is erected as a mission in San Antonio.


Maryland requires the establishment of public schools in all counties.


Fort Drummer is built as protection against the Abenaki, forming what would become the first permanent settlement in Vermont at present-day Brattleboro.


There are an estimated 75,000 enslaved Black people in the American colonies, out of a half-million non-Indigenous residents.


  • Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M., ed. "The Almanac of American History." Barnes & Nobles Books: Greenwich, CT, 1993.
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Kelly, Martin. "American History Timeline - 1701 - 1725." ThoughtCo, Dec. 5, 2020, Kelly, Martin. (2020, December 5). American History Timeline - 1701 - 1725. Retrieved from Kelly, Martin. "American History Timeline - 1701 - 1725." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).