History of the Southern United States

The history of the Southern United States spans back thousand of years to the first evidence of human occupation. The Paleo-Indians were the first peoples to inhabit the Americas and what would become the Southern United States. By the time Europeans arrived in the 15th century, the region was inhabited by the Mississippian people, well known for their mound building cultures. European history in the region would begin with the earliest days of the exploration and colonization of North America. The countries of Spain, France, and England eventually explored and claimed parts of what is now the Southern United States, and the cultural influences of each can still be seen in the region today. In the centuries since, the history of the Southern United States has recorded a large number of important events, including the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the American Civil War, the expansion and then ending of slavery in the U.S., the First Great Migration, the Second Great Migration, the Jim Crow era, the American Civil Rights Movement, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and the economic and population transformation of the South during the mid-to-late 20th century. Following World War II, industrialization and economic growth would further gain speed across the South. Since the late 20th century, the South has seen the arrival of many migrants from other U.S. regions, as well as different international immigrant groups.


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