Major Turning Points in United States History Research Paper


The colonization of North America created conditions for the rise of the major power based on the country established by colonists and the US became such a country, which emerged from first settlements that were backed up by King Philip first and gained the dominant position after the defeat of the French and, ultimately gained independence of Britain. However, the independence was just the major step toward the further expansion of the US to North America which was enhanced by the defeat of Mexico that became another turning point in the history of North America and the US that eliminate the last major rival on the way of the US to the westward expansion. Therefore, British colonists have passed a long way from their first settlement and the early confrontation with Native Americans, which they won with the help of King Philip, to the defeat of the major European rivals, which were the French, and after gaining their independence from Britain, they continued their expansionist policy and colonized the huge territory from the East to the West of North America by defeating Mexico as the last major rival of the US in North America.

King’s Philip War

The King’s Philip War became the major challenge for British colonists in North America that was the turning point that let them survive and take a strong hold on their settlements as well as laid the ground for the further expansion of British colonies westward. The King’s Philip War was the matter of survival of British colonists in New England and North America because Native American tribes united their efforts against colonists and the support of King Phillip and his tribe along with other tribes that supported colonists. Colonists had to defeat Native American tribes. Otherwise, they would be expelled from the continent, unless Britain launched a large scale offense which was unlikely to occur at the moment because of domestic problems of Britain and other preferences of foreign policy of Britain. In this regard, Asia and India, in particular were more attractive for Britain (Schultz & Touglas, 2000). Moreover, Britain would face logistic difficulties, if it decided to launch the large scale offense because of the relatively low level of the development of technologies and sea routes and transport in the time of the war.

Therefore, colonists had to rely on themselves and support of local tribes to defeat their opponents. At the same time, the King’s Philip War became the first and major point, when British colonists coined their position as the major power that united efforts of Native Americans against their colonization of the continent. King’s Philip allies were united around colonists and they were used rather as the back-up force, whereas the core military power that confronted Native American tribes comprised colonists and Britain that also supported its colonists in the war (O’Toole, 2005). The defeat of hostile tribes made colonists the leading power in the Eastern coast and created conditions for the further expansion of their colonies.

Britain defeats France in North America 1753-1763 A.D.

As the problem of Native American resistance to British colonization was resolved after the King’s Philip War that was followed by the stead expansion of British colonies and expel of Native Americans from their lands further westward, Britain and British colonists in North American confronted the growing pressure from the part of France and French colonists in North America. The growing tension and rivalry between Britain and France in North America resulted in the war and persisting confrontation between them that became particularly tensed in 1753 – 1763 and resulted in the defeat of France in North America. The tension and the war between Britain and France was the result of expansionist ambitions of French and British colonists and their governments. British colonists after the defeat of hostile Native American tribes became the leading power in their region, while France held a strong position northward (McLynn, 2005). As they expanded their colonies, they inevitably came into clashes since they overcame the resistance of local tribes and became the major powers on the East coast of North America. They both used Native American tribes as back-up forces and launched their struggle to define boundaries of their influence in North America.

The defeat of France by Britain was the turning point because there was no rival for the US in North America to expand westward since the only major power in the region was Mexico backed up by Spain but there was the huge territory to colonize to reach Mexican borders. The confrontation between Britain and France defined the major power in the East coast of North America. Britain defeated France and gained the lead in the colonization of the continent in the East. French impact became limited to Quebec and northern part of the Great Lakes area, while the rest of the continent became open for British colonization.

Native Americans could not resist British colonists effectively, especially after the defeat of France because they could not count on French support in the struggle against British colonists. As a result, the huge territory was open to British colonization, and this territory was easy to gain for British colonists. In such a way, British colonists did not confront substantial resistance from Native American tribes, while the defeat of the French allowed British colonists to deprive Native Americans of any powerful support, since France could and did support Native American tribes to enhance their resistance to the British and to weaken Britain in North America.

The war with Mexico 1846-48 A.D.

The expansion of British colonies ultimately resulted in the rise of colonist states in power to the extent that they rebelled against Britain and gained independence, but independence did not stop their expansionist ambitions. On the contrary, they continued to expand westward and settled in new territories that naturally led them to Texas which was under control of Mexico.

The rise of the share of settlers from the US in Texas resulted in the rise of the separatist movement since Americans were culturally, politically and economically closer to the US than to Mexico. As a result, the rise of the American population in Texas resulted in the open confrontation with Mexico. Being backed up by the US, American settlers in Texas defeated Mexico. The Texas Revolution became the precursor of the Mexican – American War of 1846-1848 because it created the precedent, when the US used its military to interfere into the internal affairs of Mexico. The interference of the US into Mexico in 1846-1848 was the last straw to defeat Mexico and to open the way for the US to reach the western coast of the continent. The war became the logical consequence of the Texas revolution and completed the defeat of Mexico by the US. At the same time, there was also the reasonable step in the US policy of the westward expansion and colonization of new territories located westward from its boarder.

The defeat of Mexico meant that there was no power to stop the US expansion westward until descendants of British colonists finally reach the West Coast of North America and expanded the territory of the US from coast to coast (Gleijeses, 2005). As there were no rival to the US, Americans settled and expanded their territory to the West Coast. In such a situation, Native Americans were either exterminated, or died from illnesses and hardships, or simply enclosed into reservation created by the US government. Anyway, Americans, who were ancestors of British colonists and European immigrants, who settled in those colonies and later in the US, became the dominant power in North America and expanded the territory of their state to the West coast of the continent.

Therefore, the war with Mexico was the turning point that became the ultimate manifestation of the boldness of Americans to continue the colonization of the continent and revealed the power of the US in North America as the dominant nation. Mexico had proved to be unable to confront the US anymore, and so did Britain and Canada, while Native Americans were not taken seriously for a long time because of the economic, technological and military superiority of the US. Hence, the defeat of Mexico was the last straw to the colonization of the huge territory and shaping the contemporary boundaries of the US.


Thus, British colonists and their descendants has passed a long way since their first settlement in New England and the King Philip’s War, which was actually the matter of survival of colonists in America, to the rise of the US as the major and dominant power in North America after the British defeat of France and the US defeat of Mexico. The colonization of the continent had started with first British settlements in New England and the King’s Philip War was the turning point that allowed British colonists to stay on the continent and became the leading power that dominating Native American tribes. However, the French expansion in North America led to the confrontation between Britain and France in North America. The defeat of France allowed British colonists to expand their territories to Mexican boundaries. Ultimately, they confronted Mexico and defeated them in Mexican – American War that eliminated the last barrier on their way to the expansion of their territory to the West coast of North America.


Gleijeses, P. (2005). “A Brush with Mexico” Diplomatic History 29(2): 223–254. 

McLynn, F. (2005). 1759: The Year Britain Became Master of the World. New York: Pimlico

O’Toole, F. (2005). White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America. New York: Faber and Faber

Schultz, E.B. and M.J. Touglas (2000). King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: October 27, 2021] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]
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