Birth of the USA

The United States of America traces its history back to Thirteen Colonies. Thirteen Colonies were the colonies settled and established by British colonists along the eastern coast of North America.

These settlements began as soon as early 17th century. Eventually, the colonies banded together and declared independence from British rule. This marked the birth of USA.

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The First Amendment was the first major change or addition made to the original Constitution of the United States Read more about the 1st Amendment >>

2nd Amendment

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The national anthem of the United States is popularly known by the name of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'. Read more about the American National Anthem >>

Articles of Confederation 1777

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Betsy Ross

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Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was written in 1789 by by James Madison, originally 12 Amendments, reduced to 10.... Read more about the Bill of Rights >>

Birth of USA Timeline

The Birth of USA began with the American wars of Independence that pitted colonialist against the the British empire Read more about the Birth of USA Timeline >>

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Declaration of Independence

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Liberty Bell

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The Colony at Jamestown

After many failed colonies, the British settlers were able to establish their first successful colony at Jamestown. This colony marked the beginning of British colonies in North America.

Jamestown settlement eventually expanded to become the large and prosperous colony of Virginia. Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that united to become United States.

Pilgrim Fathers

The Pilgrim Fathers refer to the first Puritans who arrived in North America in the 17th century. These Puritans arrived on board the Mayflower ship. They came to find freedom in the New World where they could practice their religious beliefs freely.

The Pilgrim Fathers established the Plymouth Colony. Other groups of Puritans established other settlements such as the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Saybrook, Connecticut and New Haven.

Providence Plantation

In 1636, Roger Williams established the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation. This colony became a haven of religious freedom and progressive ideals.

Many people who wanted to escape the religious or administrative policies of other colonies came to the Providence Plantation. These include many Quakers and Jews from other British colonies. The colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that constituted US at the time of its birth.

Unification of the Colonies

Throughout the 17th century, colonies were established by British settlers all along the eastern coast. Over time, many of these colonies expanded and grew large.

Some were eventually merged with one other to form a single entity. Massachusetts and Plymouth were combined into a single colony in 1691. By the later part of the 18th century, 13 colonies existed along the eastern coast.

Provincial, Proprietary and Charter Colonies

Three types of British colonies existed in North America: provincial, proprietary and charter. Provincial colonies were directly under the authority of the king. They were established through a direct charter from the monarch.

Charter colonies were usually established by business entities or joint stock companies. Proprietary colonies were founded by notable individuals or families, also known as Lords Proprietors.

Trade and Mercantilism

Mercantilism was an important doctrine for the British colonies. According to this doctrine, the key purpose of the colonies was to produce raw materials which could be exported to Britain. Britain imposed taxes and duties on these raw materials.

These materials were then processed in Industrial Britain and sold as manufactured products. In other words, colonies were a way of increasing profits for the Britain. This policy eventually angered the colonists.

War with other Europeans

The Thirteen Colonies that became United States were often at war with other European nations. France and Spain were two important colonial powers in North America at the time.

French had their stronghold in Canada and portions of the Midwest. Spanish controlled Florida and parts of present-day Texas. Whenever a war erupted in mainland Europe, the colonies in North America also went to war.

British colonies were tenacious and ultimately the most successful. They were able to gain control of nearly all important French colonies. They also pushed Spain out of Florida.

The Thirteen Colonies and Britain

The Thirteen Colonies were controlled by the British Parliament and the King by the 18th century. The colonists liked Britain and wanted to remain a part of the British Empire. However, they didn’t like the overbearing authority of the Parliament over them. This is why they opposed the taxes and duties imposed by the Parliament.

After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Britain wanted to impose taxes in order to cover the costs of the war. Britain felt that since the war was fought to protect the colonies, the colonies must pay the taxes. The colonists, on the other hand, felt that the taxes were simply meant to fill the coffers of the British aristocracy. This created tension between the two sides.

The Prelude to American Revolutionary War

The disagreement over taxes, local governance of the colonies and the authority of the parliament finally came to a head in the 1770s. At one side, colonies simply refused to pay new taxes imposed by the Parliament.

At the other side, British government saw this as a kind of rebellion of the colonies and decided to impose even stricter measures. This ultimately led to the breakout of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War broke out in 1775. At one side were the British Empire and its forces. At the other hand were the Thirteen Colonies and their militias.

Initially, British forces were successful because they were more organized and better equipped. The militias were poorly trained, had little military experience and comprised of new recruits.

But as the war moved on, the tide began to turn. Under George Washington, the colonial militias turned into a formidable army. Known as the Continental Army, this force finally defeated the mighty British Empire.

By 1783, most of the British forces in North America had been defeated, captured or surrounded by the Continental Army. This led to the Treaty of Paris in which Britain accepted its defeat and the independence of the Thirteen Colonies.

Birth of USA

In 1776, a year after the Revolutionary War broke out, representatives from the Thirteen Colonies met. They discussed the war and how to proceed with it.

They also adopted an important declaration known as the Declaration of Independence. This declaration effectively said that the Thirteen Colonies now considered themselves independent of the British crown and government.

The Declaration also set forth the basic principles on which United States would be established.

These were captured in the following words: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.