Although the United States as an independent state has been formed relatively recently, as a result of the proclamation of independence in 1776, this country has had a long prehistory.
It is believed that America original inhabitants had been coming from Asia during thousands of years, about 15 to 50 thousand years ago, when the two continents were connected at the place of the present Bering Strait. Reliable evidence of their presence on the territory of the United States were obtained through the discoveries of artifacts, whose age is about 14 thousand years.
In 1492, the existence of America became known for the medieval Europe after Christopher Columbus has traveled to the West Indies, and during his second voyage in 1493 he personally landed on the island of Puerto Rico, now owned by the United States. British explorer John Cabot made his first voyage to the shores of modern New England In 1498, and in 1513, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon reached Florida. With the arrival of Europeans began colonial history of America.
At the dawn of its independence, the United States consisted only of the thirteen states, which were former British colonies. After gaining their independence, they had to fight twice with Great Britain in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. According to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain has formally recognized the independence of the United States, but before the end of the Second Anglo-American War in 1815, it continued to support the allied Indian tribes resisting the U.S. Army.
Immediately after the War of Independence, the United States began the expansion to the west, sustained by faith of Americans in their explicit destiny, according to which God has preordained the existence of the state of America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The main territory of the United States was formed in 1912, when Arizona – the last mainland state – was accepted. By this time, the territory of the states of Alaska and Hawaii have also belonged to the U.S., but as the U.S. states they were accepted by the Union in 1959
The base of the U.S. Constitution is the text adopted in 1788, which included the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The supreme authority, which supports a constitutional right in the United States, is the Supreme Court. Later, the Constitution was added with a number of amendments, which, in particular, prohibited the slavery (The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 1865), and gave American women the right to vote (Nineteenth Amendment, 1920). The prohibition of slavery was a painful process that affected many American citizens, who lived in vast areas of the South that provoked the disintegration of the state and civil war in 1861-1865. It was followed by a long period of Reconstruction.
Despite the prohibition of slavery, Reconstruction results were compromised, and until the middle of the twentieth century, the United States remained a country, where racial segregation prevailed.
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