January 3rd: A further victory for Washington, albeit a minor one, as a small regiment of British troops is defeated at Princeton.
February 5th: Georgia passes a state constitution.
April 20th: New York passes a state constitution.
June 13th: A young French nobleman, Marquis de Lafayette, arrives in America, seeking a volunteer commission with the Continental Army.
June 14th: The first United States national flag, containing 13 stars and 13 stripes, is formally approved by Congress.
July 31st: Congress grants Lafayette a commission as a major general in the Continental Army.
September 11th: The Continental Army is defeated by forces under General Howe at Brandywine Creek, Pennsylvania. Now in danger from British forces, the Congress flees Philadelphia to Lancaster.
October 17th: The Continental Army emerges victorious over General Burgoyne’s forces at the Battle of Saratoga. It is the most significant American victory in the Revolutionary War to date.
November 15th: Congress passes the Articles of Confederation as a framework for government. The Articles are sent to the 13 states for ratification, however, this process will be long and laborious.
December 19th: The Continental Army begins its winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
February 6th: France recognises the United States and signs treaties of trade and military alliance.
February 23rd: Prussian military officer Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge to assist Washington with training the Continental Army.
March 16th: The British parliament forms a peace commission, which travels to America and meets with members of Congress. The British offer to meet all American demands provided the Americans revoke their independence. This is rejected.
May: A wave of Native American raids against American frontier settlements, encouraged by the British, begin.
July 2nd: Congress returns to Philadelphia.
July 10th: France formally declares war on Britain, following an attack on a French ship by British vessels.
September 14th: Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin to act as America’s diplomatic representative in France.
December: The British begin a campaign in the southern states of America, capturing Savannah, Georgia.
June 16th: Spain declares war on England but does not commit forces to the fighting in America.
September: Congress appoints John Adams to negotiate peace with Britain.
May: A mutiny in the Continental Army as hundreds of men demand rations and payment of salary that is five months overdue.
June: Massachusetts adopts its own state constitution, declaring that “all men are born free and equal”.
August 3rd: General Benedict Arnold is appointed the commander of American forces at West Point. He is already in secret negotiations with the British.
September 25th: The discovery of papers identifying him as a spy forces Benedict Arnold to defend to the British army, where he is commissioned as a brigadier general.
January 27th: A significant mutiny among Continental Army soldiers in New Jersey is put down by Washington. Several of the ringleaders are hanged.
March 1st: The Articles of Confederation go into effect, after being ratified by all 13 states. The ratification process has taken almost three and a half years.
June 11th: Congress forms a peace committee to consider negotiations with the British. Among the members of the committee are Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.
September 28th: Washington’s Continental Army and French forces under Rochambeau lay siege to the British in Yorktown, Virginia.
October 19th: Unable to be relieved or reinforced by either land or sea, Lord Cornwallis surrenders British forces at Yorktown. This marks the last significant battle of the Revolutionary War.
January: Loyalists begin fleeing America, heading north to the Canadian provinces, south to British colonies in the Caribbean or across the Atlantic to Britain.
February 27th: The British parliament votes to discontinue further military activities in America.
March 20th: British prime minister Lord North resigns. His successor, Lord Rockingham, orders his diplomats to begin peace negotiations with the Americans.
May: The Virginia state legislature passes a Manumission Law, allowing for Virginians to voluntary free their slaves (this had previously been illegal).
April 16th: The headquarters of the Continental Army are moved to Newburgh, New York.
April 19th: John Adams secures Dutch recognition of the United States.
April: Peace negotiations between British and American delegates begin in Paris.
November: The last significant fighting of the Revolutionary War, between American forces, Loyalist militias and natives.
February: the Treaty of Paris formally ends the war. Spain, Denmark, Russia and Sweden recognise the United States.
March 10th: The Newburgh Conspiracy begins with an anonymous note to American officers, encouraging them to take action against Congress over unpaid salaries.
March 15th: Washington meets with his discontented officers and eases tensions with an impassioned speech.
May 13th: Revolutionary War officers form the Society of Cincinnati, with George Washington as their inaugural president. Membership is restricted to officers and their firstborn sons.
April 3rd: American delegates sign a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Sweden.
April 26th: A further 7,000 Loyalists sail north to Canada.
June: The majority of the Continental Army is demobilised and disbanded.
June 17th: In Philadelphia, the Confederation Congress is besieged by ex-soldiers, protesting unpaid salaries. The soldiers are dispersed a week later.
June 24th: Congress relocates from Philadelphia to Princeton.
July 8th: Massachusetts’ Supreme Court abolishes slavery there.
October 7th: The Virginian state assembly grants freedom to all slaves who fought in the Continental Army.
November 25th: The last British troops leave New York.
December 23rd: General George Washington visits Congress and voluntarily resigns his commission as commander-in-chief.