During the Last Ice Age, over 10,000 years ago. Ocean water levels were lower due to large glaciers. A land bridge formed between Russia and Alaska. Today, the Bering Strait must be crossed by ship.
Europeans discovered the Americas in 1492. Christopher Columbus was trying to find a quick route to Asia, instead he found the Caribbean islands. Spain, France, and Great Britain established colonies in North America, searching for land and wealth.
France controlled land in eastern Canada and the Great Lakes until 1763. In 1763, the British won the French & Indian War and gained control over France’s colonies.
Shortly after the French & Indian War, the 13 colonies rebelled from British dominance and fought a war to win their freedom, the American Revolution. In 1776 colonists declared their independence from Great Britain. In 1783, Great Britain recognized American independence and the United States of America was created!
During the 1800’s the U.S. gained land rights from the east coast to the Pacific ocean. Some of the land was given to the U.S. through treaties with other countries. Some of the land was annexed by the U.S.- this is when the U.S. declares ownership of an area. This caused suffering for many Native Americans.
During the 1800’s the U.S. also grew in population. Many people from Europe immigrated to the U.S. in search for freedom, jobs, and land. Today many people still move to America, but most people are Asian or Hispanic, not European.
In representative democracies voters choose leaders who make and enforce laws. Laws Leaders Voters
The Constitution was written in the 1780’s. It’s purpose is to direct how the government is set up and how it works. The founders of the Constitution wanted: A strong and powerful government A government with limited powers, so that people’s rights were protected. The U.S. government has a separation of powers, so that no branch of government is TOO powerful! The individual states also have power! This is called federalism- when power is divided between the national government and state governments.
In 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. This included 10 amendments, or changes. This is very important because it helped protect the rights of the people!