Census Bureau Population Estimates: PopClocks

US History

The United States officially became a country on July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the 2nd Constitutional Convention.  While it would not be recognized immediately by all nations, the young nation slowly established its as it fought and defeated the British in the American Revolution.

As the young American nation, founded on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness grew, it faced many challenges.  The first major problem was over the official government of the nation, which after attempting a confederation, settled on a constitutional republic, electing George Washington as its first President.  As Presidents came and went, the nation changed slowly over time and began to uphold its beliefs set fourth in the constitution and bill or rights.  But as the nation explored these natural rights, it began to discover it did not have enough room to grow.

Thus began the age of Western Expansion, as the US began to expand its boundaries from sea to shining sea, and show the rest of the world the greatness that is the United States.  This period is marred with the ominous offenses which were necessary to establish freedom across the country, including the poor treatment of Native Americans, Minorities, and neighboring countries.  After a war with Mexico, and bitter arguments with Britain, Spain and France, by the mid 1800's the US was almost complete.  However, their attentions now turned to the neglected needs of its people.  They had become a people divided, and it was not going to be easy to fix.
American Progress - by John Gast

In 1860, a young President was elected who was inspired to help correct these wrongs.  Abraham Lincoln began his reign facing the greatest conflict to date on American soil: The Civil War.  After 4 years of bloodshed and families ripped apart, the Union was preserved and the US attempted to reconcile its ways, however it was clear this would be a work in progress.  While Reconstruction met many of these needs, the nation was not yet ready to protect the rights of all people.

After the Civil War, the nation entered a great period of growth.  The West was populated with the growth of technology, as people were able to travel and communicate over great distances very quickly.  Opportunities for lives of prosperity abound in the West.  By the turn of the 20th century, the US was a hungry machine, yearning for more.  To feed this hunger, the US began to look outside of its own nation, towards the rest of the world.  It wanted to become an Imperial power.
Famous WWI Recruitment Poster

The US got its chance at the outbreak of The Great War in Europe.  While these powers fought bitterly, the US profitted from trade with these nations and American industriousness.  This prosperity lasted through the 1920's before crashing to a halt when the stock market crashed in 1929.  At that point, along with the rest of the world, the US stumbled into the Great Depression, and faced a decade of living in poverty.

The end of the 1930's brought on the 2nd World War, where the US played a major part, and emerged as the one of the two major world powers.  After helping to defeat the Axis powers of Italy, Germany and Japan, the US then became the major adversary of the Soviet Union, sparking the beginning of the Cold War.  This war lasted for over 50 years, upon which not a single shot was fired between the two nations.  The war consisted primary of an escalation of technology and military resources, as each competed with the other in an attempt to exert their superiority.  Major conflicts during this period include the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Berlin Airlift.  This period finally ended with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Since then, the US has primarily focused its efforts in the continual spread of democracy throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and against Terrorism.  The two Persian Gulf Wars in the 1990's and 2000's, as well as the "War on Terror" after the 9/11 Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.  The US has also focused its efforts in fighting the environmental change in the world, as well as spreading news changes in technology and the way it shapes our world, as we enter in to the 21st century.