History of the United States of America

Article

July 3, 2022

The history of the United States of America formally began on July 4, 1776, the day on which the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America was approved, which officially marked the detachment of the original thirteen British colonies from the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. However, many events preceded this date, effectively constituting the historical roots of the United States, to be taken into consideration for an overall historical account. The arrival of human populations in North America is dated around 15,000 BC. There were numerous indigenous civilizations and cultures that were born, many of which disappeared starting from the 1500s. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, in fact, started the European colonization of the Americas. The territory in question was touched by European explorers as early as 1513, during an expedition led by Juan Ponce de León. The European explorers and settlers who subsequently landed on the North American continent encountered numerous populations of Native Americans (then improperly called Indians or American Indians), who were decimated during the colonization promoted by various European powers in which, among others, British, French participated. , Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. Most of the colonies were formed after 1600. The writings and accounts of colonizer John Winthrop make the United States the first nation whose origins are fully documented. Around 1760 the Thirteen British colonies had a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants, settled along the Atlantic coast of the continent, east of the Appalachians. After defeating France in the Franco-Indian War, the British government passed a series of measures that aggravated the taxation of colonial populations, including the Stamp Act of 1765, ignoring the numerous complaints of the settlers, according to which any new taxation required necessarily their approval. Protests against the new taxes, including the Boston Tea Party of 1773, led the English Parliament to pass a series of punitive laws aimed at ending Massachusetts' autonomy. An armed conflict, which went down in history as the American Revolution, broke out in 1775. In 1776, in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress officially declared the independence of the colonies. Under George Washington's leadership, the United States won the American War of Independence, with significant support from France and aid from Spain and the Netherlands. The Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the conflict, awarded lands east of the Mississippi (including portions of Canada, but not Florida) to independent colonies. The Articles of the Confederation, which went to regulate relations between the colonies, provided for a central government, however, in fact unable to guarantee a certain stability, having limited powers. In 1787, the Philadelphia Convention drafted the United States Constitution, ratified in 1789. In 1791, the so-called "Bill of Rights" was added in order to guarantee the inalienable rights of the person. With the presidency of George Washington and the contribution of Alexander Hamilton, a strong central government was created. The purchase of the territories of French Louisiana in 1802 allowed the United States to double its territory in the west. A second and final war with England was fought in 1812, but it did not lead to changes. Following the conception of Manifest Destiny, US expansionism went as far as the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Despite having a vast expanding territory, the US population in 1790 amounted to only about 4 million. Despite this, rapid population growth followed in the following years: in 1810 it reached 7.2 million, in 1860 to 32 million, 76 million in