Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and early 1770s led to the American Revolutionary War, fought from 1775 through 1781. On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress, convening in Philadelphia, established a Continental Army under the command of George Washington. Proclaiming that "all men are created equal" and endowed with "certain unalienable Rights," the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1776. That date is now celebrated annually as America's Independence Day. In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a weak federal government that operated until 1789.
After the British defeat by American forces assisted by the French, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States and the states' sovereignty over American territory west to the Mississippi River. A constitutional convention was organized in 1787 by those wishing to establish a strong national government, with powers of taxation. The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, and the new republic's first Senate, House of Representatives, and presidentâ€”George Washingtonâ€”took office in 1789. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.
Abolition of Slavery
Attitudes toward slavery were shifting; a clause in the Constitution protected the African slave trade only until 1808. The Northern states abolished slavery between 1780 and 1804, leaving the slave states of the South as defenders of the "peculiar institution." The Second Great Awakening, beginning about 1800, made evangelicalism a force behind various social reform movements, including abolitionism.
Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of Indian Wars and an Indian removal policy that stripped the native peoples of their land. The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803 almost doubled the nation's size. The War of 1812, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism. A series of U.S. military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. The United States annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845. The concept of Manifest Destiny was popularized during this time.The 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. The U.S. victory in the Mexican-American War resulted in the 1848 cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest. The California Gold Rush of 1848â€“49 further spurred western migration. New railways made relocation easier for settlers and increased conflicts with Native Americans. Over a half-century, up to 40 million American bison, or buffalo, were slaughtered for skins and meat and to ease the railways' spread. The loss of the buffalo, a primary resource for the plains Indians, was an existential blow to many native cultures.
ESTA Travel Registration for United States of America
As of 12th January 2009 everyone wanting to travel to United States of America from the 26 countries that do not require a Visa at the moment will have to complete an online US Travel Registration ESTA form up to 3 days before the trip. This will help travelers register for 2 years for entry into the US for holidays. If you are traveling from any of these countries to United States of America you will need to complete the online ESTA form.
The current countries covered by the ESTA Via Waiver Program are:
Anybody traveling to United States of America are asked to Register 3 days in advance to travel. The form can be completed online and is called â€œElectronic System for Travel Authorisationâ€, or ESTA. You can complete you application here: ESTA Application Page ESTA has been designed to allow for the accommodation of last minute and emergency travellers and you will no longer have to fill out a green Visa Waiver form on the Aircraft. The ESTA form requires your flight details - so if you are planning to travel to United States of America ensure you have booked your flight and have the flight details before you complete the ESTA form.
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