Something be crushed. The war took place

Something that American citizens don’t
necessarily think about on a daily basis is how the United States acquired the
large amount of land that is currently part of America today. It is actually
very interesting how the United States became so great in size. The expansion
of United States territory came from many different events throughout our
nation’s history. The United States has always been a place that allowed for
territorial expansion, but the majority of the time, expansion was not simply
given to the United States; it came with many struggles and consequences. Expansion
was a very important part of our nation’s history; we would not have the
territory that we have today without the many opportunities to purchase
different lands.

United States was originally formed from thirteen British colonies. These
colonies included Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Bay Colony (which also
included Maine), New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina,
New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. These
colonies were established mainly to aid in growing the British Empire. Even
though these thirteen colonies were already in existence, they were not
considered “free”. They wanted to declare independence in the United States. To
do this, the thirteen colonies started a war against Britain for their

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war for the independence of the thirteen colonies was named the American Revolutionary
War, and also known as the United States War of Independence. To gain their
independence, the United States was required to win this war against Britain,
or their dreams of being a free country would be crushed. The war took place in
Lexington, Massachusetts and lasted approximately eight years. Fortunately,
throughout a tough battle, America came out of the war successfully, and they
were now going to be a free country like they had always wanted to be. This was
great news for everyone that lived in the United States, and everyone was ecstatic.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to make our nation independent,
and on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by
Thomas Jefferson, was signed, and the United States was officially declared an independent
country. A famous quote that is related to this important period of history was
made by Christopher Hitchens:

Thomas Jefferson and his Declaration of Independence, there would have been no
American revolution that announced universal principles of liberty. Without his
participation by the side of the unforgettable Marquis de Lafayette, there
would have been no French proclamation of The Rights of Man. Without his
brilliant negotiation of the Louisiana treaty, there would be no United States
of America. Without Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, there would have been
no Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, and no basis for the most precious
clause of our most prized element of our imperishable Bill of Rights – the
First Amendment to the United States Constitution. (Hitchens)


The war was
officially ended by the Treaty of Paris of 1783. The treaty was negotiated by
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay. During the negotiations to expand
the land in the United States, it was mentioned that Canada become a part of
the United States, but unfortunately, this proposal was declined. Fortunately
for the United States, since they could not gain all of the land that Canada
had, they did receive a large amount of territory that was south of the
Canadian Border. Thankfully, all sides agreed to this land being sold to the
United States, and on September
3, 1783, was officially signed.

This led to a rapid increase in territorial expansion over the next several

A major land expansion that
happened a couple of decades after the Treaty of Paris of 1783 was signed was
the Louisiana Purchase. This was one of the biggest purchases of land for the
United States. It all started back in the seventeenth century when France
started settling in the unclaimed territory of the United States. During the
French and Indian War, this land that was established by the French was given
over to Spain. After this, the land was forgotten about for awhile, but in
1801, a top secret treaty was signed with Spain and the French to give the
French their territory back. A few years later, the United States were striving
to continue their expansion west of the Mississippi River, since the French
were slowly taking over Mississippi. The United States began to live in fear
that Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France, would eventually completely take
over the Mississippi River and New Orleans area and the U.S. would never be
able to expand again. This could not happen. Thomas Jefferson, who was
president at the time, stated “There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of
which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans.” (Jefferson) Fortunately for the U.S. in 1803, Napoleon
Bonaparte needed to sell the land he had acquired in the United States, plus
the New Orleans area due to France’s lack of funds for their army. This was
great news for the United States. They were getting more land than they originally
thought that they would get. Soon after, the 828,000 square miles of land were
bought from France for $15 million, under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.

This is known as one of the biggest achievements of Jefferson’s presidency, and
one of the largest land purchases in our nation’s history.

very long after the Louisiana Purchase was made, there was more land to be
negotiated for purchase in the United States. After the Treaty of Paris of
1783, more settlers began to move to West Florida. They moved to West Florida
due to the Louisiana Purchase, which was supposed to include Florida.

Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication, and the settlers in West Florida
were forced to rebel against Spain in order to keep their land. Negotiations
began, and the U.S. made sure that Spain was aware that this specific area of
Florida was part of the Louisiana Purchase. Unfortunately, this issue was not
resolved until James Monroe took office as president, and John Adams as his
Secretary of State. Finally, after a long battle, Adams and Onis came to a
point where they decided to compromise and Florida was given to the United

received no compensation, but the United States agreed to assume liability for
$5 million in damage done by American citizens who rebelled against Spain.

Under the Onís-Adams Treaty of 1819 (also called the Transcontinental Treaty
and ratified in 1821) the United States and Spain defined the western limits of
the Louisiana Purchase and Spain surrendered its claims to the Pacific
Northwest. (Acquisition of Florida)


The struggle to keep Florida a part
of the United States was a very important part of our nation’s history of

very important part of the expansion of the United States was being able to
receive Texas as a part of the United States. At the point when Mexico
established the large area of Texas in the year 1821, the land was insufficiently
populated, so Texans effectively enlisted pioneers from the United States to
help develop the locale’s populace. Before long, a man by the name of Stephen
Austin was pitching plots of land to American people from a substantial land his
dad had gotten from the Mexican government. In the meantime, different settlers
from the United States—particularly from the South—were moving to Texas, which
was still in control by Mexico. All was well for a few years, until tension
arose between the Mexican government and the American people that were residing
in Texas. The American settlers decided to call for independence in the year
1836. The Mexican government was not a fan of this idea. “In March of 1836, following a thirteen
day siege, Santa Anna’s 5,000 troops attacked and killed 187 American and
Tejano defenders at the battle of the Alamo–a mission-fortress outside San
Antonio. Among the dead were Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and commander William
Travis. ‘Remember the Alamo’ became,
thereafter, a battle cry.” (Khan Academy) Despite the struggle that the
Americans endured, Congress voted that the United States should receive Texas
as their 28th state. This was known as one of the greatest successes
of the expansion of the United States.

     The expansion of the West United States was
a very prominent time in our nation’s history. The United States made a very
important decision that they would like to acquire the Oregon territory, which
was made up of present-day Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana and Wyoming,
along with some parts of British Columbia. This would be a very important
milestone for the United States, as they could finally settle in the westward
territory. The Oregon territory was first claimed by Russia, Great Britain, and
the United States, but Russia soon surrendered their cases of the region to the
United States. This left the Oregon Territory to Great Britain and the United
States. A negotiation began over the territory in the year 1845. The United
States wanted a line to be drawn at the 49th parallel.

Unfortunately, the British were not in approval of this proposal. Soon after
the British disagreement, President James K. Polk came up with the idea to
cancel the joint ownership of the land between the United States and Great
Britain within the next year. Great Britain agreed to this so that they would
not have future conflict with the United States over things such as trade. The
American settlers were ecstatic that they were finally going to get the
opportunity to settle westward, where they’ve always wanted to do so. The Oregon
Treaty was finally passed in the year 1846, and the boundary was officially
located at the 49th parallel. The effects of the Oregon Territory
had definitely made its mark on the United States.  

     The last two states to become a part of the
United States of America were Alaska and Hawaii. They were the most recent
states added, only in 1959. They are the only two states in the United States
that are not a part of the overall land. Alaska is farther north, and Hawaii is
farther south. Alaska was negotiated to be an official part of the United
States when President Abraham Lincoln was in office. He and his secretary of
state, William Henry Steward, were both interested in buying the land of Alaska,
that at the time, was owned by Russia. The negotiation was accepted and Alaska
was sold to the United States for 7.2 million dollars. The process of Hawaii
being acquired by the United States is quite similar to Alaska, as they were
both acquired in the same year. Hawaii was the last state to be added to the
United States. The process started when the United States was told they had
received approval to have a naval base, located at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This
was a great help to the United States. When Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese
during World War II in 1941, it came as a great shock to America, since that
was where their naval base was located. Years later, after World War II came to
an end, the United States called to finally receive Hawaii as their official 50th
state, and Hawaii has been a remarkable place ever since. The purchases of
Alaska and Hawaii have had a remarkable impact on the history of the United
States, especially since they were the most recent states added to the country.

     The territorial expansion of the United
States has changed America forever. This was the dream that the United States
always had. They always wanted to be a bigger, more beautiful country that is
inviting to everyone. Without the many struggles that the country’s leaders went
through to acquire so much land, the United States would not have the beautiful
country that they are known for today.