The United States of America has an incredibly rich history spanning centuries and countless landmark events. But just how old is the U.S.A. exactly? This question has intrigued historians, economists, and citizens alike for generations. The answer may surprise you – the United States is over two hundred and forty-six years old, with a story that began in the 18th century.
From its humble beginnings as 13 British colonies to becoming one of the most powerful countries in the world, the United States has come a long way since its independence. Let’s look at how old the U.S.A. is and how its age has shaped it into the nation we know today.
How Old Is America? – the Simple Answer
The United States is 246 years old as of July 4, 2022. That’s the simple answer, but when considering the age of a nation, things can get complicated. Some would argue that America was born at different points in time before July 4, 1776. For example, many believe the first stirrings of independence began when the Virginia House of Burgesses was formed in 1619. Others point to the first colonial Congress, which met in Albany in 1754, as a precursor to nationhood.
No matter your stance on when America was founded, one thing remains true: On July 4, 1776, the United States officially declared its independence and became a nation. The passing of the Declaration of Independence meant that the thirteen original British colonies in North America ceased to be colonies and were united under one banner, and the United States was born.
Now that we’ve looked at the first birthday of the United States, let’s look at some others…
2. The Formation of a Continent (~6,000 years old)
As hard as it may be to believe, the United States of America can trace its origins back approximately 6,000 years ago when the North American landmass was first formed. This event could technically mark the beginning of our nation’s long and exciting history.
It’s impossible to comprehend the grand scale of this event, yet it shaped the formation of our country as we know it today. This makes the second birthday of our nation special in its own right, as it marks the very moment that North America was formed and began its history as a distinct part of the world.
3. The Arrival of the Native Americans (~4,300 years old)
If the age of the United States is counted from when the native Americans arrived on North American soil, then it would be somewhere around 2,300 BC. Archaeologists believe the first inhabitants possibly arrived via a land bridge connecting North America to Siberia during the Ice Age.
4. The Arrival of Christopher Columbus (531 years old)
If the age of the United States is counted from when Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America, then it would be around 531 years old. On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail with three ships – the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – on his voyage to the Americas. After a 10-week journey, he arrived in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, with a group of sailors from the Santa Maria.
However, given the negative consequences of European colonization in the Americas, many have stopped celebrating this date as America’s birthday. It is now better understood that Columbus’ arrival to the Americas had a devastating impact on the indigenous populations and their cultures, which has led to a reevaluation of how this event is commemorated.
5. The First Settlement (435 years old)
Counting from when the first Settlement in the US was established as the start of America’s age, the United States is 435 years old. This milestone began when a group of English settlers, led by Governor John White, arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587. Although these brave souls set out with high hopes, the harsh living conditions and lack of supplies proved too much for them. When Governor White returned with supplies in 1590, he found the Settlement abandoned with no sign of the original inhabitants.
6. The First SUCCESSFUL Settlement (413 years old)
If one were to mark the beginning of America’s age from when the first successful Settlement was established, it would be 413 years old. In 1609 in a joint venture with the British, the Virginia Company set out to establish a second settlement at Jamestown. Despite the harsh environment, aggressive natives, and lack of resources they encountered, they ultimately persevered and created a successful settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.
7. The Articles of Confederation (241 years old)
The Articles of Confederation, the first governing document for the United States of America, was written in 1777 and adopted by the Second Continental Congress. This document established the loose confederacy of states and provided a framework for them to cooperate in matters of common interest. These articles served as the basis for the Constitution, which was officially ratified in 1788 and is still the supreme law of the land. If we consider this date as America’s birthday, the United States would be 241 years old.
8. The Ratification of the Constitution (233 years old)
The Constitution of the United States was officially ratified on June 21, 1788. This document established the framework for a federal government with three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and the various civil rights and liberties granted to citizens. This document remains the supreme law of the land and has been amended 27 times. If one were to mark the start of America’s age from this date, it would be 233 years old.
9. The End of the Civil War (157 years old)
The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and was the bloodiest conflict experienced in the United States. The war pitted the Northern Union states against the Confederate states of the South, resulting in over 620,000 casualties. On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate forces, surrendered to Ulysses S Grant of the Union forces at Appomattox Court House. This marked the end of the war and the reunification of the United States. If one were to mark America’s birthday from this event, it would be 157 years old.
In summary, the age of the United States as a sovereign nation can be measured by many milestones in its history. European settlers arrived on the eastern seaboard in the early 1500s, achieving independence from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War and culminating with the formation of the continental United States of America after the American Revolution. These thirteen colonies are now fifty states and have become an integral part of a strong international community, with the United States leading the way in many areas of global development. It has been a long journey, but it is worth celebrating on each of these important birthdays.
How long has America been a country?
America has been a country for 234 years since the ratification of the Constitution on June 21, 1788.
What was America before 1776?
Before 1776, America was a collection of British colonies. It declared independence from Great Britain in July of that year, leading to the Revolutionary War. Once the war was over, the United States of America was officially formed.
What was America before 1492?
Before 1492, America was inhabited by Native American tribes. After Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World, European settlers began to colonize North and South America. The colonization process continued for centuries until the United States was formed in 1776.
How old will America be this year?
This year, America will be 246 years old since it declared independence from Britain on July 4th, 1776. This date is traditionally regarded as America’s “birthday.” It is celebrated annually in the United States with fireworks, parades, and other events. It is also commonly known as “Independence Day” or “July 4th.”
Is the USA 200 years old?
No, the U.S.A. is not 200 years old. The Constitution was officially ratified on June 21, 1788, making the United States 234 years old this year. This date is sometimes regarded as America’s “birthday” after the 4th of July and is still celebrated in the United States.
What is the significance of Independence Day?
When did European settlers first come to the Atlantic Coast?
The first Europeans to arrive on the Atlantic coast were Spanish explorers in the 1500s. However, it wasn’t until 1607 that the first permanent European Settlement was established in Jamestown, Virginia.
How many European settlers arrived on the Atlantic coast?
It is difficult to determine how many Europeans arrived on the Atlantic coast, as the number varies according to records. However, historians estimate that between 1607 and 1776, there were around 500,000 European settlers in the 13 colonies that would become the United States.