Research has revealed much about the early Native American settlers of North America. Christopher Columbus' men were the first documented Old Worlders to land in the territory of what is now the United States when they arrived in Puerto Rico during their second voyage in the year 1493. Juan Ponce de León, who arrived in Florida in 1513, is credited as being the first European to land in what is now the continental United States, although some evidence suggests that John Cabot might have reached what is presently New England in 1498.
The coming of Europeans began the Colonial history of the United States. The Thirteen Colonies, British colonies that would become the original U.S. states, were founded along what is now the country's east coast beginning in 1607, but various other European powers also founded settlements in what would become U.S. territory, both before and later. Due to growing dissatisfaction with British rule, the thirteen British colonies fought off the British army in the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s and issued a Declaration of Independence in 1776. In early 1781, the Union of the States was legally established; half a year before the end of hostilities in the Revolutionary War. Two years later, Britain officially recognized the sovereignty and independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. In the nineteenth century, westward expansion of United States territory began, upon the belief of Manifest Destiny, in which the United States would occupy all the North American land east to west, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. By 1912, with the admission of Arizona... [continues]
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