The United States of America declared its independence from England on July 4, 1776. The country subsequently fought the British in a war for its independence until 1783. The British surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, effectively ending the war.
Following the war, the United States formed a confederacy built around the Articles of Confederation. The country, however, needed a stronger central government following the Whiskey Rebellion, and in 1789, the states ratified the Constitution. The first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, became law in 1791. George Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789.