United States of America

  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The first white settlers in north America were Spaniards who made their home in Florida. In 1607 some English settled at Jamestown around which the colony of Virginia grew. In 1620 others landed at Plymouth Rock to found the colony of Massachusetts. Dutch settlements became British after a war in 1664 and the name of their chief town was changed to New York. In 1775 white settlement in America was located in 13 British colonies on the east coast and in Spanish colonial territory in the south and southwest. The rest was Indian land, where former French claims to control had been given up in 1763. Spain succeeded to those claims in land west of the Mississippi and Britain in land east of it. Britain designated such land as Indian territory and forbade colonial expansion west of the Appalachians. The British colonies declared their independence on 4 July 1776, provoking a war which lasted until 1783 when Britain acknowledged the independent United States of America. The Union extended south to the border of Florida (Spanish) and west to the Mississippi. A permanent constitution came into force in 1789, providing for a federal government.


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Further Reading

Official Statistical Information

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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