Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Historical travel > Early United States history
|United States historical travel topics:
Indigenous nations → Pre-Civil War → Civil War → Old West → Industrialization → Post-war
Contrary to popular belief in Europe and other parts of the world, the United States has existed longer as a nation-state than most other countries in the world.
There have been many historical epochs in the land now governed by the US, starting with the pre-colonial times when Native Americans held sway, the Colonial Era and the American Revolution. This article focuses on the antebellum history; from the first European settlement, until the American Civil War, which started in 1861, before most of the Industrial Revolution, large-scale railroad expansion, and the American colonization of the Old West.
|“||And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.||”|
—United States Declaration of Independence 1776
- 1492 — First voyage of Christopher Columbus brings the existence of land to the West to the consciousness of most Europeans
- 1513 — Saint Augustine, Florida is founded by the Spaniards; today, it is the oldest continuously-occupied Euro-American settlement in what's now the United States
- 1586 — Attempt to establish a British colony at Roanoke Island, in what would later become North Carolina; this is now known as the "lost colony", and it is possible that the colonists may have joined the local Native American tribe, but no-one really knows why they disappeared without a trace
- 1607 — Santa Fe founded by the Spaniards in what is now New Mexico; that same year, Jamestown, Virginia was founded, and it was not only the first lasting British colony in the Americas but the first in the world
- 1620 — Pilgrims found the Plymouth Colony
- 1625 — Nieuw Amsterdam, now New York City, is founded by the Dutch as part of New Netherland (Dutch: Nieuw-Nederland), which encompassed most of what's now New York State
- 1626 — Founding of Salem, Massachusetts
- 1630 — Boston and 10 other Massachusetts settlements founded by Puritans
- 1670 — Charles Town, now Charleston, South Carolina, is founded and quickly becomes a major port city in British America
- 1675-1678 — First Indian War
- 1682 — Philadelphia founded
- 1688-1697 — Second Indian War
- 1754-1763 — French and Indian War
- 1775-1783 — American Revolutionary War
- 1776 — Declaration of Independence
- 1803 — Louisiana Purchase, followed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition
- 1812-1815 — War of 1812 (US against Britain, mostly fought in Canada and the Eastern United States)
- 1846-1848 — Mexican-American War
- 1850 — A nascent Underground Railroad proposes Canada as the promised land, after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act enables abduction and capture of runaway slaves - and in some cases even unlucky free blacks who couldn't prove their freedom - nationwide.
- 1861-1865 — American Civil War
Along the Atlantic coast were the Thirteen Colonies, part of the British Empire. Although many of the buildings have been torn down and replaced by new ones or railways and streets, some old towns, historic buildings and objects still remain, mostly in the following cities:
19 The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas (off map). Considered to be hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty, the Alamo is a former mission which was also the site of the Battle of the Alamo (1836). Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Revenues from an adjacent gift shop fund the historic preservation efforts.
- Roanoke one of the earliest attempts at a British colony in North America
- Braddock Expedition
- El Camino Real
- Erie Canal
- From Plymouth to Hampton Roads showcases historical destinations along the Atlantic coast
- American Industry Tour begins with the antebellum industries of the Northeast.
- Touring Shaker country
- Trail of Tears
- Underground Railroad