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English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups.As coastal land grew more expensive, freed indentured servants pushed further west.After Spain sent Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, other explorers followed.The first Europeans to arrive in the territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513; however, if unincorporated territories are accounted for, then credit would go to Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage.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.Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas.
The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast.The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses created in 1619, the Mayflower Compact, signed by the Pilgrims before disembarking, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, established precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber. For the landmass comprising North, Central and South America, see Americas.For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation).