The history of United States of America
The territory now part of the United States has been inhabited for from 15,000 to 40,000 years, as attested by local evidence. The aboriginal peoples, ancestral to today's American Indians, left no firm monuments on the scale of contemporaneous cultures elsewhere, but both the pueblos of the Southwest and the great mounds of the Mississippi River valley antedate the arrival of the European colonial powers. The original 13 British colonies that
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the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, leaving the United States the undisputed superpower in the world. The most serious challenges late in the 20th century were economic ones, however. Beginning in the 1970s, rates of economic growth slowed and living standards stagnated or even fell as the American economy was forced to cope with increased foreign competition, its own steadily declining vigour, and the effects of massive budget deficits and a huge national debt.