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As coastal land grew more expensive, freed indentured servants pushed further west.

During the Seven Years' War (in the United States, known as the French and Indian War), British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies.

For the landmass comprising North, Central and South America, see Americas.

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In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (Latin: The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq., George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America The short form "United States" is also standard. The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit. The concrete staircase follows the approximate course of ancient wooden stairs.

Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies.

Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, and the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power.

Cities eventually dotted the coast to support local economies and serve as trade hubs.

English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups.

The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties.

The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.

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