How Old is The United States?
The United States of America is the third or fourth largest country in the world by area and has the most developed economy. On July 4, the country celebrates its birthday, also known as Independence Day. But in the middle of all the fireworks and parties on this day, many people wonder how old the country is. Most people only want to know how long it has been since America got rid of its European colonizers.
Others want to know how long America has been ruled by another country. According to the history of the country, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the founding fathers on July 4, 1776. This makes the country 245 years old on July 4, 2021. Native Americans, on the other hand, have lived in the area that became the United States for at least 12,000 years. “In this article, you can learn”How old is the United States?”Let’s start:
Table of Contents
How old is America?
Let’s start with the most straightforward answer, which is also the one most people want when they ask the question. After the Revolutionary War in the 1800s, the United States won its independence from Great Britain. On July 4, 1776, the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, so the country is now 246 years old.
Other answers, though, could be found in the time before barbecues, flags, and fireworks were ever thought of. Native people moved to America at least by 15,000 BCE, but they may have been there as early as 30,000 years ago. Native American tribes kept growing and changing from the time we first heard about them until Christopher Columbus came to the area in the 15th century. A few hundred years later, the British started to settle. By 1733, there were 13 colonies, from Jamestown (now Virginia) to Georgia.
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History of the United States and the Mayflower
But America has a much longer history than that. Since the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020 are getting so much attention, it’s easy to think that the country is 400 years old instead of 246. Then there’s the fact that the first of the thirteen colonies were set up even earlier. Lastly, we can’t forget that people lived on the whole continent of America long before Christopher Columbus or the Europeans came to settle there.
The Formation of a Continent
If you think the age of the United States should be measured from when North America separated from the rest of the world, the US would be celebrating its 200 millionth birthday!
Try as you might, you won’t be able to find a Hallmark card for that. About 200 million years ago, it broke off from a landmass called Laurentia, which also held Eurasia. Laurentia was called Lauren by her friends.
Even though the US will be 245 years old in 2021, it has been around for more than 250 years. Long before the Declaration of Independence was written, the first Native Americans moved to North America. Most historians agree that the first native people moved to the area at least 15,000 years ago, but it’s possible that they came as early as 30,000 years ago. Before 10,000 years ago, the land bridge between Eurasia and North America was used by the first people to move from Eurasia to North America.
Paleoamericans were the first Native Americans to come to and settle in North America. Later, the ancestors of Aleuts, Athabaskans, and Eskimos came to live with them. Over time, the native people created their own cultures and spread out across the area. When Christopher Columbus came to the area in the 15th century, it was the first time that Europeans settled there.
About 10–15 years after the first settlers arrived at Jamestown, the famous ship MAYFLOWER docked at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and started making New England (as we know it today). In September 1620, 100 English men and women left their home country. Two months later, in December of the same year, their historic ship arrived at Plymouth Rock.
Many of the settlers were members of the Separatist Church. This was because religion was a big deal in England. They decided to leave because the Church of England had not done the work needed for the Protestant Reformation.
The English Separatists had been dealing with this problem for a long time. In 1607 and 1608, they colonized the Netherlands to get religious freedom. After about 10 years, they went to the New World in hopes of being able to use their English-speaking skills there.
What was the US population in 1776?
At the moment, there are just over 330 million people living in the United States. But the Census Bureau says that there were 2.5 million people in the country 244 years ago. In 250 years, the US has grown 130 times bigger and is now the third most populous country, after China (1.40 billion) and India (1.2 billion) (1.36 billion).
Born on the 4th of July
The official age is between 240 and 250. In terms of world history, the United States is a very young country. After the War of Independence, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence made the United States of America an official country in its own right. The goal was to get rid of Great Britain’s rule over the American colonies and make them into their own independent country.
The Arrival of the Native Americans
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If you think the United States started when the first Native Americans set foot on the North American continent, then the country is between 15,000 and 40,000 years old.
People think that the first Native Americans came between 13,000 BCE and 38,000 BCE via a land bridge that connected North America to Siberia. Even though Hallmark hasn’t joined the party yet, I’d LOVE to see a birthday cake with 13,000 or more candles on it!
Colonization And Declaration Of Independence
Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to see the American continent, but the Spanish were the first people to live in what is now the United States. They set up towns in New Mexico and Florida, including Saint Augustine and Santa Fe. By the middle of the 17th century, the English had settled on the Atlantic Coast and started the first colony, which was called Jamestown, Virginia. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the British set up 13 colonies. In 1733, Georgia became the last of these colonies.
The US has grown from 13 colonies that became states at different times to 50 states, making it the third or fourth-largest country by total area in just over 250 years. Its population has also grown by more than 130 times, to about 330 million people. This makes it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
In 1681, King James II of England owed money to the family of a wealthy Quaker named William Penn. So that the debt could be paid off, the King gave the Quakers a charter for a place to live. They were given the land 12 miles north of Newcastle, next to the Delaware River. “THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA” was the name they gave to their new home.
Penn didn’t worry about the success of his new colony, even though the charter grant put more restrictions on them than on the other colonies. He thought that Quakers were good people by nature (and better than the Puritans), so his political philosophy was based on his trust in them to make a strong government. They were able to settle on the east side of the Chesapeake River in 1681. The land they got to was very fertile, which helped them, and they started the city of Philadelphia there.
How does America compare to the oldest countries?
So, 246 years may seem like a long time in human or dog years, but when it comes to countries, the USA is still a youngster. The Republic of San Marino, a small landlocked country in Italy, is thought to be the oldest country, though there is a difference between a country and an empire. It was started in 301 BCE, which means that it is now 2,321 years old.
France (CE 843), Austria (CE 976), Portugal (CE 1143), and Thailand are also examples of countries that haven’t changed much since their early days (CE 1238). Back to the US claiming independence from Great Britain, it’s interesting to note that the history and age of those colonial rulers are a bit more complicated. Here is a clever attempt, though, so that you can impress anyone you talk to at the July 4th celebrations.
The Puritans Arrived 400 Years Ago
But this means that the building blocks of a nation in the United States were put in place long before 1776. It must have been since there were colonies that felt so different from Britain that they wanted to rule themselves. So, “America” as a country settled by the British and other Europeans is much older than people think.
Thanksgiving and Pilgrims
When we think about where Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock came from, we have to go all the way back to 1620. This would mean that America has been settled for more than 400 years. This is the day that the brave Puritans set sail for the New World, shared their food with the native people there, and started what is now New England. It wasn’t a “New World” because people were already living there. Also, they weren’t the first Europeans to start a colony on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Arrival of Christopher Columbus
If you think Christopher Columbus “discovered” America when he landed on the “uninhabited” (if you don’t count the 8 million to 112 million Native Americans) shores of North America, then the United States is 529 years old.
On August 3, 1492, he set sail in three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. It took him about 10 weeks to find the Americas. On October 12, 1492, he and a group of sailors from Santa Maria arrived in the Bahamas.
But because of the bad things that happened in the next few years when Europeans came to live in the Americas, this date isn’t celebrated as much as it used to be. People have stopped celebrating the anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in many parts of the United States because they now know how this affected the native people who lived there before.
Diversification Over Time
As of 1733, there were more than 13 established colonies along the Atlantic Coast of the New World. Settlers often left their home countries in search of freedom, which they hadn’t had before. Many European companies forced their people to live under bad political rules, and America was seen as a place where people could start over and do whatever they wanted. Even now, these ideas are still true, and the United States is proud of the freedoms its people have.
Most of the first settlers were English, but there were also people from other European countries who came to the New World. People from Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Germany were among these people. Today, the United States has one of the most diverse populations in the world. This is in large part because of the different kinds of people who came here as early settlers.
The Creation and Expansion of the Thirteen Colonies
Some people think that Massachusetts was the first American colony because it was founded after Plymouth. However, Massachusetts was the second of the Thirteen Colonies. Virginia was the first to join. In 1607, people moved to Jamestown, which was 13 years before the Mayflower Pilgrims left. Even though this settlement wasn’t very successful, it was the first time Europeans built a town and claimed a piece of land in North America.
Fight for Independence
Most Americans know that when the 13 English colonies signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, they tried to break away from the United Kingdom. This document said that they were a separate country from Great Britain. American rebels who were against the crown signed this act in Philadelphia.
This act started the American Revolution, the famous war between the United States Colonies and their ruler over the freedom of the settlers. We all know that the Patriots beat the Redcoats. In 1787, they set up the United States Constitution, which spelled out the many freedoms and DEMOCRACY that their people now had. So, the United States of America became a real country.
The East Coast of the United States
More and more colonies were added to the east coast of the United States over time. By the time of the Revolutionary War, thirteen had strong identities and where many generations away from their British ancestors. Even though the USA was founded in 1776, its people have been moving into the area and making it their home for 169 years. For comparison, that’s the same amount of time that passed between the founding of the United States and the end of World War II.
- In 1607, Virginia was the first.
- Then, in 1620, it was Massachusetts.
- In 1623, New Hampshire did the same thing.
- In 1634, Maryland was
- In 1635, Connecticut was
- Rhode Island in 1636
- The next state to join was Delaware in 1638, which put an end to how quickly these states grew.
- A little while later, they moved to North Carolina.
- In 1663, South Carolina came next.
- A year later, the states of New Jersey and New York were made. The Duke of York gave his name to the state of New York.
- Pennsylvania was started by William Penn sometime after 1682.
- Then Georgia was founded in 1732, which was almost 100 years after Maryland.
- Different states will have their own ideas about how old America is, which may be more important to them than the age of the USA.
The First Successful Settlement
If you count the age of the United States from when the first successful settlement was made, the country is 413 years old.
The British were not put off by the failure of Roanoke Island. In 1609, they set up a second settlement at Jamestown with the help of the Virginia Company. Again, the harsh conditions, hostile natives, and lack of supplies made life in the continental US very hard. At one point, they even ate each other to stay alive.
Birth of a Nation
Even though there is a simple answer to the question of when the United States left the British rule they didn’t want to be a part of (1776), the history of how the country came to go back much further than that.
Jamestown was the first English settlement. The Pilgrims settled on Plymouth Rock at the end of 1620, not long after. In the second half of the 17th century, William Penn founded Philadelphia and the colony of Pennsylvania. At the same time, other colonies were being set up all along the Atlantic Coast.
The Articles of Confederation
If you think the United States started when the Articles of Confederation were signed, then it has been around for 241 years.
The Articles of Confederation set the rules for how the states were to work together in their “League of Friendship” (their words, not mine) and helped Congress make decisions.
From July 1776 to November 1777, people talked about the articles. On November 15, 1777, they were sent to the states to be ratified. They were finally signed, and on March 1, 1781, they became law.
The Ratification of the Constitution
If you think that the age of the United States should be measured from when the constitution was signed, then the country is 233 years old.
The Constitution was finally approved by the ninth state (New Hampshire, which was holding everyone up…) on June 21, 1788. It went into effect on January 1, 1789. It has seven articles that explain the doctrine of separation of powers, the ideas of federalism, and the ratification process. It has been changed 27 times to help a country with a growing population meet the changing needs of a growing population.
The End of the Civil War
If you want to count the age of the United States from when the Civil War ended, then the country is only 157 years old. During the Civil War, the southern states broke away from the Union. It wasn’t changed until June 1865, when the Civil War was over. I mean, if you get divorced and remarry, you don’t count your wedding anniversary from when you were first married, do you? So why would you do that to a country?
The First McDonalds
If we’re going to play fun what-if games, let’s at least have fun with them. One of the most important things the US has given the rest of the world is fast food. You can argue about how good it is, but you can’t deny its impact. Mcdonald’s is the most well-known of all the fast-food chains.
Every 14.5 hours, a new restaurant opens, and the company feeds 68 million people EVERY DAY. That’s more people than live in Great Britain, France, or South Africa, and more than double the number of people who live in Australia.
Given how much this American icon has changed how people around the world eat, you could make an argument (not a good one, but an argument nonetheless) that America’s age should start with the opening of the first Mcdonald’s.
How old the United States depends on when you think it started. For this article, we will use the Declaration of Independence as our definition of birth. There are many ways to figure out how old the United States is, but most people agree that it is 246 years old (and counting).
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) about How Old is The United States?
How Old Is America Really?
Technically, America is 245 years old. On July 4, 1776, the country got its independence from Great Britain. Long before Independence Day, people from Europe started to move to the Americas in large numbers in order to make their lives better. This was called “westward expansion.”
What was the US called before 1776?
On September 9, 1776, the United Colonies got a new name from the Second Continental Congress. Before that, they were called the “United Colonies.” Since then, the name “United States of America” has been a sign of freedom and independence.
When was the USA born?
Americans celebrate the birth of their country on Independence Day. It’s the Fourth of July! People are wishing each other a happy Fourth of July all over the United States today. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress as a whole.
Who lived in the US first?
The Clovis people were the name for these people until the 1970s. Their name comes from an old village that was found near Clovis, New Mexico. It was built more than 11,000 years ago. DNA tests show that they are the direct ancestors of about 80% of the native people in the Americas.
What did Native Americans call America?
Some Indigenous people and some people who fight for Indigenous rights call Earth or North America “Turtle Island.” The name comes from a common Native American story about how the world was made. In some cultures, the name means “North America.”
Why is the USA called America?
Even though the colonies built it, “America” had a name long before they did. Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer, came up with the idea that the lands Christopher Columbus reached in 1492 were part of a separate continent. This was a new idea at the time. America is named after Vespucci.
What country is older than the United States?
San Marino is the world’s oldest sovereign state, and its constitution, which dates back to October 8, 1600, is also the world’s oldest. But not all of its laws are written down, which is why the U.S. Constitution is often thought to be the oldest.