UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1 Part 5

 The foundation of the United States of America

Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover the United States of America in 1492, and it officially became an independent nation with the declaration of independence in July 1776. Colonies were set up in many areas, and the largest were built by English settlers from 1607 onwards. The area now known as New England was colonised by the Puritans in 1630, although there was a smaller settlement set up there by the Pilgrims 10 years previously. By the 1770s there were two and a half million people living in what became known as the Thirteen Colonies, and they were under British rule until 1776 when they proclaimed their independence. 

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, between the thirteen colonies and the British, the thirteen colonies lacked a professional army or navy. Instead it was made up of local militia who were poorly armed and equipped compared to the British, and many did not have uniforms. Despite this, due to their greater numbers, the militia of the thirteen colonies were often able to overrun the British forces. 

Seeking to improve coherence, the Continental Congress set up to unite the colonies, appointed George Washington (1732-1799) as commander-in-chief on June 14th 1775. Washington is credited with organising the American forces and for being a supreme strategist.  Of the numerous challenges he faced, logistics was the greatest and as neither the colonies nor the states had the money to pay for the munitions, equipment and food that would be needed to maintain a military campaign.

However, Washington won important battles at Saratoga (1777) and Yorktown (1781) and by 1783 he had forced the British out of New York. Rather than assume power for himself, Washington humbly retired to his farm in Virginia.

39. No one lived in America before it was discovered by Columbus

40. English settlers often chose to build smaller settlements

41. New England was first colonised by the puritans

42. The puritans left England to escape persecution

43. The American revolutionary war broke out between the thirteen colonies and the British

44. The militia were poorly equipped and did not have uniforms

45. George Washington was decisive in battle

46. Neither the colonies nor the British had the money to pay for munitions and food needed for the campaign

47. The battle of Saratoga happened roughly four years before the battle of Yorktown

48. The independence of the USA was declared after the British were forced out of New York


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