Home The Map as History > The United-States : a territorial history
The United-States : a territorial history - History of the United States - Treaty of Paris in 1763 - Treaty of Paris in 1783 - War of Independence - Declaration of Independence - the 13 colonies - Lewis and Clark expedition Admission of New States and the Slavery Issue - The Indian Removal Programme - Manifest Destiny - Immigration and the ‘Melting Pot’ - Reconstruction and the End of the “Frontier”
Authors : Carol Artigues (M. Ed.), Historical consultant
Voice : Richard Barnes
This series contains 14 animated historical maps. For a preview, see the map on :
Following the first Treaty of Paris signed in 1763, the entire territory between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi came under British rule.
With the second Treaty of Paris in 1783, the United Kingdom recognized the 13 colonies as ‘free and sovereign states’ and handed over all its territories east of the Mississippi.
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, thus breaking all ties between the 13 colonies and Great Britain.
The first conflicts involving British troops and American militiamen had taken place a year earlier in the Boston area.
The search for new territories to conquer and the need to defend its territory against attacks from other countries, the new American state quickly sought to extend its borders.
Two Ordinances signed in 1787 and 1789 established rules covering the admission of new States to the Union.
However, the slavery issue divided the nation. With the development of the West, the fragile political equilibrium between free states and slave states was broken, resulting in the secession of southern states and Civil War.
Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Jefferson sent Lewis, his personal secretary, and Captain Clark on a scientific, political and commercial mission of exploration westwards to the Pacific Ocean.
Oregon’s rich natural resources, and in particular the opportunities it offered for the fur trade, created lively competition between Canadians from the Hudson Bay Company and American settlers over control of the territory.
To fulfil the concept of Manifest Destiny, which encouraged the expansion of US territory to the Pacific Ocean, several transcontinental trails enabled settlers to move westward from the Missouri.
Pressure from settlers gradually reduced the territories where the Indians lived.
In 1830, the Indian Removal Act authorized the removal of native tribes to reservations West of the Mississipi River.
Following independence, Mexico opened up a part of its territory to settlers. American and European pioneers moved to Texas and there set up ranches where they grew cotton and raised cattle.
The Union’s victory over the Confederates brought an end to four years of Civil War, but resulted a period of intense controversy on how to re-establish the unity of the nation.
Following strong controversy over where the railroad should be built, the Pacific Railroad Act 1862 awarded contracts for a first track between Ohama and Sacramento to two railroad companies: the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific.
During the first half of the 19th century, a growing number of immigrants in search of liberty and a better economic future arrived in the United States, mainly from Northern Europe.
The Indian tribes roamed the Great Plains of the Midwest in the wake of migrating herds of bison, which were their main source of wealth.
Once the Civil War was over and the nation was reunited, the desire for conquest re-emerged and the United States began to look beyond its frontiers for new opportunities.
History of the United States - Treaty of Paris in 1763 - Treaty of Paris in 1783 - War of Independence - Declaration of Independence - the 13 colonies - Lewis and Clark expedition Admission of New States and the Slavery Issue - The Indian Removal Programme - Manifest Destiny - Immigration and the 'Melting Pot' - Reconstruction and the End of the "Frontier"
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