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History >> Geography >> North America >> United States

United States

Timeline and History Overview

United States Timeline

CE Brief Overview of the History of United States

The area that is today the United States was inhabited for thousands of years by various tribal peoples. The first European to arrive in the area was Christopher Columbus and the first to make landfall was Ponce de Leon who landed at Florida. France laid claim to the interior of the United States, while Spain claimed what is now the Southwest.

The first English settlement was the Virginia Colony in the Jamestown in 1607. A few years later, in 1620, the Pilgrims arrived and founded Plymouth Colony. Eventually England would have 13 colonies in eastern North America. By the 1700s the American colonies were growing unhappy with what they called "taxation without representation". In 1776, the United States declared its independence from England. The American Revolutionary War for independence would follow and, with the help of France, the colonies defeated England.


White House

In 1861, the United States experienced a civil war when the southern states tried to secede from the Union. They were defeated after a bloody war and the country remained together. The country continued to industrialize and in the 1900s became one of the world's industrial leaders.

In both World Wars the United States tried to remain neutral but ended up on the side of the United Kingdom and the Allies. In World War II, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that forced the US to enter the war. The US developed nuclear weapons and used 2 of them to bomb Japan, effectively ending the war and starting a cold war with the communist Soviet Union.

In the late 1900s the United States became one of the world's superpowers. The other superpower was the Soviet Union. Both countries had nuclear weapons. The two countries fought a Cold War for many years where battles were fought by spies, by a race for the most weapons, and in proxy wars like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Soviet-Afghanistan War.

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History >> Geography >> North America >> United States

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