Shelledy Elementary

13 Colonies Becomes the United States of America

Important Historical Events that Affected Western Colorado

Return to Main TimelineReturn to Main Timeline

Crossing the Delaware
13 Colonies Becomes the United States of America, 1607-1802

Choose one of the following articles:

Jamestown to the 13 Colonies, 1607-1776

Diseases from Europe Kill Many Native Americans

French & Indian War
French and Indian War, 1754-1763

Revolutionary War
Revolutionary War, United States & Constitution, 1776-1789

Jamestown to 13 Colonies, 1607-1776

With the loss of the Spanish Armada to England, the shift in world power greatly changed. Soon England had established the a small colony in North America called Jamestown. After Jamestown, the countries of England, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands all built colonies in North America. Over time, more people were born here in North America and more people came from Europe. The new land was rich in timber for building ships along with animal furs and many other riches to the European countries.

Soon England and France became the main world powers. France had explored more up the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, and had established forts and trading posts more inland. England had many colonies and towns on the eastern coast. Eventually, the 13 colonies formed on the east coast of North America.

Diseases from Europe Kill Many Native Americans
Native Americans When the first Europeans landed on the east coast of North America, there were many strong and healthy populations of different Native American tribes. They all had their customs, beliefs, and area of land where they lived. Little did the travelers from Europe know, but one of the smallest stow aways on their ship and in their livestock brought the biggest changes to North America. The microscopic diseases of small pox, mumps, measles, and other diseases quickly spread to the Native Americans.

The Native Americans had never been exposed to these diseases. Soon, a large part of the Native American population had been killed by these new diseases. The people who survived had watched a large part of their family and tribe die in front of them. This caused large social changes within Native American tribes.

When later Europeans settled North America they found a relatively unsettled land due to the spread of these diseases. If so many Native Americans would have not died from the diseases, it would have been much more difficult for the Europeans to settle the newly discovered lands of North America.

Native Americans Small Pox
French and Indian War, 1754-1763
French Indian War

Many people today know little about the French and Indian War. First, the war was not mainly between the French and the Indians. The war was between France and England for the control of settling North America. The British had established many colonies along the east coast. The French had controlled the territory around the Great Lakes, up the Mississippi River, and further inland from the coast. France and England have had a long history of not getting along and niether wanted to share the new prize of North America.

So, the French and the British made allies with different Indian tribes. In return for their help, both sides promised land and supplies to different Indian tribes. So the Indian tribes were fighting on both sides. Many French soldiers, British soldiers, and Native Americans died for who would control this land. If France would have won this war, there might have been a good chance that the common language in Western Colorado today might be French. Instead, England had won the war and today the main language of Western Colorado and the United States is English.

The war was very costly in money, resources, and man power to England and France. Since the war was fought for the people in the colonies, England had tried to pass a lot of the cost of the war to the people living in the colonies by raising taxes. In a way, the French and Indian War helped partially cause the American Revolutionary War.

Soldiers on horseback
Revolutionary War, 1776-1783
King George3 King George III and the British Parlaiment would make unfair rules and high taxes on the new colonists with little to no consideration of their input. British soldiers could stay in their homes and take things without getting in too much trouble. Still some colonists liked the idea of being protected by British Empire. Other people did not know if it was worth the risk to go to war with England, especially since it was one of the strongest world powers of the day. War is a serious, scary, and destructive thing. In addition, the colonies had no independent army or navy.

Finally, with the courage and determination to make our own rules and government, the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and signed on July 4th by the leaders of the colonies, declaring our independence from England.

George Washington formed and trained a new army of volunteers. In the meantime, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin went to France for help. George Washington and his newly trained troops were having a tough time against the highly trained British army and navy in the beginning of the war. Finally, France decided that it was worth the risk to help the colonies. It was in their best interest that if they could not have North America, then neither should the British. France gave the colonies a loan for supplies and weapons. France also sent part of their navy to fight the British. navy. France's assistance helped turn the war around for the colonies.

After many more tough and bloody battles, the United States won freedom from Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. The United States of America was formed. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the American Revolutionary War. Over time, the United States of America would eventually expand across North America into current day western Colorado and all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

George Washington
U.S. Constitution Created, 1787-1789
Articles of Confederation

After the Revolutionary War the Articles of Confederation were created to help govern the land. Our founding fathers were very concerned about creating too strong of central government. The U.S. soon learned that too weak of central government under the Articles of Confederation was equally bad. So our founding fathers met in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to create a government that had balanced power. There were many heated arguments, discussions, and debates to create their final result.

The end result of their work is one of the greatest governing documents in history. The U.S. Constitution provides a balanced government by having 3 branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) that could check and balance each other. The House of Representative and Senate in the legislative branch helped provide fair representation for both large and small states. The president (executive branch) can serve in 4 year terms. This stopped the possibility of life time rules by kings and queens like in Europe. The Supreme Court (judicial branch) can declare laws and actions unconstitional and unlawful keeping the government true to the Bill of Rights in the constitution.

Most importantly, our fathers created the Bill of Rights that gaurantees citizens freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to peacably assemble, the right to bear arms, protection from unnecesary search and siezure, the right to a fair trial and due process, and more. The U.S. Contitution was revolutionary for its time and has stood the test of more than 220 years of significant historical challenges.

US Constitution
Bill of Rights