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Introduction - United States FactsOn July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence, in which the 13 British colonies declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, was adopted by the Continental Congress. Many people regard this date as the date the United States of America became a country and the thirteen original colonies became states. There are others who argue that the U.S. did not really become an independent country and the states really did not become states until the ratification of the Constitution on March 4, 1789. Over the more than 200 years of its existence as an independent country the United States has expanded tremendously. In fact there are now 50 states the last two, Alaska and Hawaii, joining the union in 1959.
Interesting U.S. State Facts
- Because it was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution Delaware is considered by most people to be the first state of the United States of America. It ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787 in Dover Delaware.
- On August 20th, 1959 Hawaii was the 50th and last state to join the United States.
- Starting on December 20, 1860 with South Carolina several states succeeded from the U.S. thus beginning the American Civil War.
- Alaska is the largest US state. This huge state accounts for 17% of the country's total area.
- Based on total area Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US.
List of the 13 Original States
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Possible Future U.S. States
- Puerto Rico - The people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have had the opportunity to become a US state a number of times over the last few decades. It is always possible in the future they may vote to do so.
- District of Columbia - People living in the District of Columbia do not have full representation in the United States Congress. There has been discussion about this district becoming a state with the name "New Columbia" often being mentioned.
- New York City - New York City has a population that is greater than most US states. Secession from New York State would allow it to govern itself and retain a lot more of the revenue it generates as the financial capital of the world.
- Cuba - Although highly unlikely it is a possibility that when Fidel Castro dies this island country, which would most likely become democratic, would be a candidate for US statehood.