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Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolutionary War lasting between 1775 and 1783, leading to independence. The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, gradually acquiring new territories, displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states until spanning the continent by 1848.
During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the abolition of slavery in the United States. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power.