A Brief Timeline of United States History

Most of the world recognizes the United States of America as one of most powerful countries in the world. The United States has undeniably vindicated its place, in aspects like economy, science, and social studies.

This is a brief timeline of United States history, highlighting key events in its journey towards the top.

Pre-United States

30,000 years ago - Before the nation became a united cluster of states, there were only the Americas. This land was home to the early Native Americans, or the Paleoamericans, who are theorized to have migrated from Eurasia. The American land is considered relatively young when set against the general history of the world, which began millions of years ago.

1493 - Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas. This opened the gates for European colonizers in the following years. English colonizers successfully began establishing colonies, which later became British colonies. Since then, hostilities between the British and the Native Americans had been taking place.

Struggle for Independence

1754 - The French engaged in the French and Indian War against the British. The Indians were divided, some siding with France and others with Britain. The war ended in 1763 with the French allies defeated. Britain gained dominant control of the Americas, implementing more controversial policies.

1775 - Under Great Britain, the American people eventually sensed infringement of their rights. The Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast rose to stage a rebellion, forming Provincial Congresses to reject British rules. Thus, the American Revolutionary War erupted.

1776 - While the war was raging on, the American congresses adopted on July 4 the United States Declaration of Independence. The Articles of Confederation was then drafted to serve as a working constitution. Under the then-General George Washington, the British forces were eventually defeated and had to sail out.

Rise as One Nation

1789 - George Washington became the first President of the nation. He led the Constitutional Convention and established a strong government that was embraced by Americans. Later, the United States adopted the Bill of Rights.

1861 - The Civil War dawned, initiated by the seceded Confederate states on the south. But as the war concluded in 1865, it ended slavery in the country and solidified the federal government. The US began its Reconstruction era, embracing civil rights regardless of color. This cohesive nation then rose in wealth and power.

Emerging from Obstacles

1917 - Attacked by Germany, the US officially joined World War I as part of the Allied Forces. The Allied Forces emerged successful in 1918.

1929 - After an era of prosperity, the US was hit by the worldwide Great Depression. Then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented measures that greatly improved American economy.

1941 - Japan, who was an opposing force, attacked America's Pearl Harbor. This prompted the US to join World War II. The war ended with the Allies defeating the Axis powers.

1945 - Two superpowers remained: the US and the Soviet Union. An undeclared but strong tension formed between the two, and this was the Cold War. However, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, making the US the sole superpower in the world.

Today - The United States of America continues to be a prime nation, making leaps in science and social studies. It has also extended assistance to other countries and engaged in global efforts, including the war on terror. Setbacks, such as the 2007 recession, still present great threats, as the country continues its toil to stay prosperous.

The history of the United States is an on-going account, especially in terms of economy, science, and social studies. Yet, a universal lesson is already apparent: that it is in unity that freedom and success can be achieved.

Websites For Learning All About United States History

American Revolution Slavery
Civil War States Of America
Constitution U.S. Presidents
Industrial Revolution Veterans Day
Martin Luther King Jr.  


  1. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  2. Liberty! The American Revolution
  3. Pony Express Home Station