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The House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America, meets for the first time in Virginia (July 30 o.s.). The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown (summer).
The Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts is established by Pilgrims from England (Dec. 11 o.s.). Before disembarking from their ship, the Mayflower, 41 male passengers sign the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that forms the basis of the colony's government.
Boston Tea Party:Group of colonial patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians board three ships in Boston harbor and dump more than 300 crates of tea overboard as a protest against the British tea tax(Dec. 16).
Constitutional Convention, made up of delegates from 12 of the original 13 colonies, meets in Philadelphia to draft the U.S. Constitution(May–Sept.).
First ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified (Dec. 15).
President Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which authorizes the forced removal of Native Americans living in the eastern part of the country to lands west of the Mississippi River (May 28). By the late 1830s the Jackson administration has relocated nearly 50,000 Native Americans.
Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California (Jan. 24); gold rush reaches its height the following year. Women's rights convention is held at Seneca Falls, N.Y.(July 19–20).
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