The U.S. is new on the scene, relative to world history, but has packed a lot into a few short centuries!
With just over 400 years under its belt, the history of the United States is fairly compact. No ancient dynasties, no millenia-spanning eras, no man-made wonders of the world, no storied pomp, just a handful of regular old centuries. True to the American ethos, however—one that favors progress over dormancy—a lot of drama and development has been packed into 400 short years!
What began as a settlement sanctioned by the King of England in 1620 eventually engaged in a Revolutionary War to become an independent country. The new country, born in 1776, had solid leadership who drafted the U.S. Constitution, a document that continues to provide a guiding light to lawmakers today.
The initial 13 colonies officially became the “United States of America” on September 9, 1776.
After a robust society was established on the Eastern seaboard, wagon trains began carrying intrepid settlers west to establish communities along the way. These communities became territories and were eventually ratified as states. The last states to join the union were Alaska and Hawaii in 1959. The country’s flag, which features 13 stripes (representing the original colonies) and 50 stars (one for each state) was redesigned each time a new state was added to the union.
American History Resources
National Museum of African American History and Culture
National Museum of American History
National Museum of the American Indian
Museum of the American Revolution
Statue of Liberty and The Statue of Liberty Museum
Ellis Island and The National Immigration Museum