A territorial history of the United States
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1750
1760
1770
1780
1790
1800
1810
1820
1830
1840
1850
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1791
Vermont
1792
1796
1803
Kentucky
Tennessee
Ohio
1812
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1836
1837
1845
1846
1848
1850
1858
1859
1861
1864
1867
1876
1889
1890
1896
1907
1912
1959
Louisiana
Indiana
Mississippi
Illinois
Alabama
Maine
Missouri
Arkansas
Michigan
Florida
Texas
Iowa
Wisconsin
California
Minnesota
Oregon
Kansas
Nevada
Nebraska
Colorado
Washington
Montana
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wyoming
Idaho
Utah
Oklahoma
Arizona
New Mexico
Alaska
Hawaï
North America,
mid-18th century
1763
1776
1783
1787
Treaty of Paris
Declaration
of Independence
Treaty
of Paris
Northwest
Ordinance
The United States
in 1783
Thomas
Jefferson
Benjamin
Franklin
1804
1806
The Lewis and Clark expedition
1803
Louisiana Purchase
The United States
in 1804
1812
1815
The War of 1812
1818
The Treaty
of 1818
The United States
in 1820
1819
Adams-Onis Treaty
1821
Mexican Independence
The Westward Trails
1823
Monroe
Doctrine
Manifest Destiny
1846
1848
Mexican-American War
1848
Guadalupe
Hidalgo Treaty
1853
Gadsden
Purchase
1846
Oregon Treaty
1854
Kansas Nebraska Act
The United States
in 1853
Union States
Confederate States
1861
1865
American Civil War
Transcontinental Railroad
The United States
in 1880
The United States
after 1912
Immigration
and the “melting pot”
Overseas Expansion
Alaska and Hawaii,
the 49th and 50th States
Abraham
Lincoln
The birh of a nation
1775
1783
American Revolution
1790
Census Act
George
Washington
1830
Indian
Removal Act
1836
The Battle of the Alamo
1890’s
Overseas Expansion
1898
Spanish-American War
1960
Census Act
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Treaty of Paris

    The 1763 Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the “French and Indian Wars”, excluded France from further expansion.

    Spain claimed the Western regions of the continent, but was forced to give up Florida. All the territory from the Atlantic to the Mississippi was now under British rule.

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Declaration of Independence

    On July 4, 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from British rule. Thomas Jefferson drafted the document, which was ratified by the Continental Congress.

    Benjamin Franklin (first U.S. Ambassador to France), John Adams and John Jay represented the United States at the treaty signing. David Hartley represented King George III.

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Treaty of Paris

    In the second Treaty of Paris in 1783, the United Kingdom recognized the 13 colonies as «Free and sovereign States» and ceded all its territories as far as the Mississippi River.

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American Revolution

    Unresolved disputes between the colonies and the British crown, including tax revolts, erupted into armed conflict in 1775.

    By 1778 France provided financial and military aid to the Continental Army, leading to British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia in 1779. Battles continued, however, until 1783.

    George Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and one of the Founding Fathers of the new nation. In 1789 he became the first president of the United States.


For additional information please refer to the animated map "The War of Independence" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Northwest Ordinance

    The Ordinance of 1787 established that the Northwest Territories would be placed under the authority of the Federal Government and that, when the population of any one state reached 60,000, a convention would be elected to draft its Constitution and to submit its request to become a new State of the Union. It included protection of civil rights and banned slavery in those territories.

    This Ordinance, with modifications in 1789, while declaring respect for Indian lands and rights, lead to territorial expansion that would eventually extend to the Pacific coast. The slavery issue south of the Northwest Territories became increasingly contentious in the political balance of power as new states petitioned to enter the Union.


For additional information please refer to the animated map "Admission of New States and the Slavery Issue" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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1790 Census Act

    The first census conducted in the United States reported an approximate 4 million residents.

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Louisiana Purchase

    In 1803, Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with France. This covered the area around New Orleans that was already inhabited and the largely unexplored lands to the west of the Mississippi. With this acquisition, the United States doubled in size.

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The Treaty of 1818

    In 1818, a treaty with United Kingdom established a new frontier as far as the Rocky Mountains along the 49th parallel and provided for shared control over the Oregon Territory.

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Adams-Onis Treaty

    The Adams-Onis Treaty was negotiated with Spain in 1819. The United States acquired Florida and the boundary with Spanish territory was re-defined from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

For additional information please refer to the animated map "Westward Expansion" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Missouri

    The request for statehood by the slaveholding Missouri territory ignited yet another power-struggle in Congress.

    After much debate the petition for Maine statehood became part of a compromise that set a precedent for a balance of power, pairing the admission of slave and free states.

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Mexican Independence

    In 1821, Mexican Independence marked the end of the Spanish presence in North America.

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Monroe Doctrine

    In 1823, President Monroe called on the European powers to withdraw from the American continent. The Monroe Doctrine warned against any interference or colonization in the New World.

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Indian Removal Act

    In 1830, as pioneers gradually moved westward, Congress voted a law authorizing the purchase of Indian land and the "voluntary" deportation of Indian tribes to ‘reserves’ west of the Mississippi.

For additional information please refer to the animated map "The Indian Removal Program" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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The Battle of the Alamo

Beginning in 1835 Texan colonists fought against the Mexican government for their independence.

The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 resulted in a crushing defeat by the superior forces of Mexican General Santa Anna, fueling a desire for revenge and the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo.”

The war ended with the defeat of the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1936 and the creation of the Republic of Texas.


For additional information please refer to the animated map "Texan Independence" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Manifest Destiny

    Towards the mid-19th century, the ideology of ‘Manifest Destiny’ provided a justification for further territorial expansion, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

    In 1845 an influential newspaper columnist John O’Sullivan had coined the term in an article supporting the annexation of Texas and Oregon Country.

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Oregon Treaty

    An agreement was reached with the United Kingdom in 1846 that extended the northern border of the Oregon Territory along 49th parallel, westward to the Pacific Ocean.

For additional information please refer to the animated map "The Northern Frontier and the Oregon Territory" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty

    The U.S. annexation of Texas in 1845 triggered war with Mexico, who claimed Texan territory.

    In 1848 the Guadalupe Hidalgo Peace Treaty added huge territories in New Mexico and California to the United States, with the Rio Grande as the negotiated boundary.


For additional information please refer to the animated map "Westward Expansion" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Gadsden Purchase

    The last minor acquisition from Mexico was the Gadsden Purchase, which incorporated the southern part of New Mexico in 1853.

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Kansas Nebraska Act

    In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Agreement stated that the inhabitants of new territories were free to choose or reject slavery. Bloody riots between partisans and opponents of slavery in Kansas showed that tensions were increasing and led to delays in the admission of this territory.

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American Civil War

    The American Civil War pitted the south against the north over the issue of slavery.

    Southern slave states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy.

    President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, declaring that “all persons held as slaves are and henceforward shall be free.”

    After 4 years of bloody war, the Confederate Army surrendered, and a difficult period of reconstruction began.

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Immigration and the “melting pot”

    New immigrants arrived primarily from western Europe – Britain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia – but also later from Russia and eastern Europe.

    The majority settled in the large cities on the east coast: New York, Boston; with others making their way to the Midwest for farming and industry.


For additional information please refer to the animated map "Immigration and the melting pot" in our series The United States : a territorial history.

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Spanish-American War

    The Spanish-American War resulted from United States intervention in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spain.

    At the peace negotiations that same year, Spain withdrew from the Western Hemisphere, giving up Cuba and Puerto Rico. The United States also gained control over Guam and the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean.

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1890’s
Overseas Expansion

    The United States emerged as a world power and, with its acquired territories in Carabian and the Pacific Ocean, increased its strategic influence in international affairs.

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1960 Census

    As of 1960 the multi-cultural United States population reached almost 180 million.