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HISTORY

How did the United States reach its present form?

The United States began as 13 British colonies on the Atlantic Coast. In 1783, the United States gained the Northwest Territory, the area encompassing what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Spain and the United States agreed on the northern boundary of Florida in 1798 and the United States then took control of the Mississippi Territory. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase (which included most of the area west of the Mississippi) doubled the size of the country. In 1845 the independent Republic of Texas was annexed and Spain ceded Florida to the United States. In 1846, the Oregon Territory (which included Oregon, Washington, and Idaho) was officially designated with a treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom. The Mexican War of 1846-1848 led to the secession of California, Utah Territory, and New Mexico territory to the United States. The Gadsden Purchase of 1853 added southern Arizona. Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 and, finally, Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898.

What was Manifest Destiny?

First used by John Louis O'Sullivan in an 1845 editorial, Manifest Destiny was the phrase used to describe the assumption that American expansion to the Pacific Ocean was inevitable and ordained by God. The phrase was used to defend the annexations of Texas, California, Alaska, and even Pacific and Caribbean islands.

What were Lewis and Clark looking for?

President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and army officer William Clark to search for a Northwest Passage, a waterway that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Beginning in May 1804 and lasting through September 1806, the two men and their expedition party traveled through the uncharted Louisiana Territory and the Oregon Territory. Though they did not locate a Northwest Passage, Lewis and Clark documented the geography of the West.

What was Seward's Folly?

Seward's Folly, also known as Seward's Icebox, was the derogatory nickname given to the area known as Alaska, purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867. The

Sitka is a prosperous fishing town in Alaska, a state with immense natural resources that was bought by the United States for a little over seven million dollars back in 1867.

Sitka is a prosperous fishing town in Alaska, a state with immense natural resources that was bought by the United States for a little over seven million dollars back in 1867.

$7.2 million purchase, heavily encouraged by Secretary of State William Seward, was criticized by many, thus dubbed "Seward's Folly." The Alaskan Gold Rush of 1900 proved Seward to be a very wise man. In 1959, Alaska became the forty-ninth state.

When was the most territory added to the United States at one time?

In 1803, the United States purchased over 800,000 square miles (2,000,000 square kilometers) of land from France for $15 million. This territory, known as the Louisiana Purchase, extended from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and doubled the size of the United States.

Aside from the Louisiana Purchase, how was the American West obtained?

There were several other purchases and wars fought to gain the land west of the Louisiana Purchase. These included the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico, sections of the west ceded to the United States by Mexico, Texas, and the Oregon Country.

What was the Oregon Trail?

The Oregon Trail was a 2,000-mile-long (3,200-kilometer-long) pioneer trail that extended from Independence, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon. Migrants traveled along this trail in an effort to reach and settle the sparsely populated American West. It took

What happened to the Arawaks after Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World?

It is said that when Columbus arrived on the shores of the islands of the Caribbean there were between 250,000 and 1 million Island Arawaks. By the middle of the sixteenth century, disease, slavery, and outright killing brought the number down to fewer than 500. Today, about 30,000 Arawaks live in Guyana, and there are small populations in French Guyana and Suriname.

migrants approximately six months to traverse the Oregon Trail and reach Oregon. The trail was heavily used from the 1840s and subsequent decades. Portions of the Trail are still visible today in places such as the Whitman Mission National Historic Site in Washington.

How many Native American tribes are there in the United States?

There are 550 recognized tribes in the United States.

How many Native Americans were killed during the period of European colonization in the Americas?

The great majority of Native Americans who had made what is now America their home for tens of thousands of years were killed outright by European colonists. Diseases brought to the Americas from Europe, including small pox and the plague, also decimated the indigenous tribes. Furthermore inter-tribal warfare, spurred on by the political interests of Europeans, enslavement, and the mass killing and forced relocation in the nineteenth century of the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans who still managed to survive all conspired to nearly destroy native tribes and their cultures.

How many Native American reservations are there in the United States?

There are 310 reservations in the United States. Although the land is owned and administered by the federal government under the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, each reservation has limited sovereignty, including its own legal system.

What was the Trail of Tears?

In 1838, the United States rounded up approximately 15,000 members of the Cherokee Nation and forced them from their homes in Tennessee to a reservation in Oklahoma. The removal of the Cherokee Nation from their land was done so that citizens of the United States could use the fertile lands in Tennessee. Along the "trail," approximately one-fourth of the Cherokees died from malnutrition, disease, and government inefficiency.

When was the first permanent British settlement established in the United States?

In 1607, the colony of Jamestown was established in Virginia by British colonists transported there by the London Company. Though subjected to many attacks by Native Americans, the colony was ultimately destroyed in 1676 by its own rebelling colonists in Bacon's Rebellion.

How did the Monroe Doctrine protect the Americas?

In 1823, President James Monroe gave a speech that declared the Americas off limits to European powers. These policies became known in the 1840s as the Monroe Doctrine. Since 1823, the United States has used the Monroe Doctrine not only to prevent intervention by Europeans but also to further its own expansionist goals.

How many countries has the U.S. military attacked or occupied since the beginning of the year 2000?

The U.S. has invaded or occupied 14 foreign lands since 2000, including Macedonia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Philippines, Colombia, Iraq, Liberia, Haiti, Pakistan, Somalia, Georgia, Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire, and Sierre Leone.

How did the United States obtain the Virgin Islands?

The United States purchased the Virgin Islands, which includes three main islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) along with 50 smaller islands, from Denmark in 1917 to help defend the Caribbean Sea. Just under 100,000 people live on the islands, which are now a territory of the United States.

 
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