What Happened in Early American History?

Early American history is a fascinating subject that is often studied in schools and universities. It covers the period of time from the arrival of the first European settlers to the formation of the United States of America. This article will delve into what happened during this time period, highlighting some of the most significant events and people that shaped America’s early history.

European Settlement

In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas, marking the beginning of European exploration and settlement. Over the next several centuries, many European countries established colonies in North America, including England, France, Spain, and Portugal.

The Founding of Jamestown

In 1607, English settlers founded Jamestown in Virginia. This was the first permanent English settlement in North America and marked the beginning of English colonization in America.

The Pilgrims

In 1620, a group of English separatists known as Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and established a colony at Plymouth Rock. They were seeking religious freedom and became known for their Thanksgiving celebrations.

The American Revolution

By the mid-1700s, tensions had been brewing between Britain and its American colonies. In 1775, armed conflict broke out between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord. This marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

The Declaration of Independence

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence which was signed by representatives from all thirteen colonies. This document declared independence from Britain and became a symbol for freedom around the world.

The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 to 1783 and was fought between British troops and colonial forces. The war ended with a victory for the colonists at Yorktown which led to Britain recognizing America’s independence.

The Formation of the United States

With the end of the Revolutionary War, America became a new nation. The founding fathers worked together to draft a new constitution that would form the basis of America’s government.

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791 and guaranteed individual rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.

The Louisiana Purchase

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France which doubled the size of America’s territory.


Early American history is a rich and complex subject that has shaped America into what it is today. From European settlement to the formation of the United States, there were many significant events and people that played a role in this history. By understanding this history, we can better appreciate America’s past and present.