Colonial Developments

May 19th, 2015
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The United States did not emerge as a nation-state until near the end of the 18th century, but national history is properly introduced with a brief survey of the chief events leading to the formation of the Union.

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History In addition to cross-references contained in the following account of U.S. history, the reader is referred, for supplementary materials, to the history sections of articles on the individual states and to separate articles on U.S. presidents.Colonial Developments The United States did not emerge as a nation-state until near the end of the 18th century, but national history is properly introduced with a brief survey of the chief events leading to the formation of the Union. The voyages, in the last years of the 15th century, of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot, pioneer navigators who helped to open the European era of exploration and colonial expansion, were the decisive initial developments. On the strength of Columbus's explorations and those of later Spanish navigators, Spain staked out a vast domain in North, Central, and South America. Cabot, sailing in the service of Henry VII, king of England, reached the North American mainland in 1497. On the basis of this voyage, England later claimed the entire continent. Among other early voyagers to North America were Giovanni da Verrazano of Italy and Jacques Cartier of France. Sailing under the flag of France, they initiated a protracted period of French colonial activity.The lands these navigators discovered had actually been inhabited for at least 20,000 years before Columbus's arrival. In 1492 the indigenous population of Indians (as Columbus misnamed them) numbered more than 90 million, of whom abo

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