America has the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, but the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Coliseum of Rome are certainly older than any historic landmarks that the United States can claim.
Most historians cite the formal age of the U.S. to be 243 years old this year, if using the date based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. If you base America’s age on the presence of Native Americans, that date could reach back 527 years — still a “babe” in comparison to other countries.
These countries are considered to be the world’s oldest:
By many accounts, The Republic of San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries, is the world’s oldest country. Completely surrounded by Italy, San Marino was founded on Sept. 3 in the year 301 BC. However, the nation wasn’t recognized as independent until 1631 AD by the pope, who at that time controlled much of central Italy politically. San Marino’s constitution is the world’s oldest, first written in the year 1600.
Japanese history cites that the country’s first emperor, Emperor Jimmu, founded Japan in 660 BC. However, it wasn’t until at least the eighth century AD that Japanese culture and Buddhism spread across the islands. Over its long history, Japan has had many different types of governments and leaders. While the country celebrates 660 BC as the year of its founding, it wasn’t until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 that modern Japan emerged.
The first recorded dynasty in Chinese history existed more than 3,500 years ago when the feudal Shang dynasty ruled from the 17th century BC to the 11th century BC. However, China celebrates 221 BC as the founding of the modern country, the year Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the first emperor of China.
In the third century AD, the Han dynasty unified Chinese culture and tradition. In the 13th century, the Mongols invaded China, decimating the population and culture. China’s Qing Dynasty was overthrown during a revolution in 1912, leading to the creation
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of the Republic of China.
However, in 1949 the Republic of China itself was overthrown by Mao Tse Tung’s Communist rebels, and the People’s Republic of China was created, still existing today.
What about modern countries?
Modern countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Greece, and India bear little resemblance to their ancient counterparts. All of these countries except Iran trace their modern roots only as far back as the 19th century. Iran traces its modern independence to 1501, with the founding of the Shia Islamic state.
Other countries that consider their founding to be prior to Iran’s include:
• France (843 AD)
• Austria (976 AD)
• Hungary (1001 AD)
• Portugal (1143 AD)
• Mongolia (1206 AD)
• Thailand (1238 AD)
• Andorra (1278 AD)
• Switzerland (1291 AD)
Top 10 important dates in U.S. history
- 9/11 , Sept. 11, 2001
- The Great Depression , October 1929
- The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb, Aug. 6, 1945
- The Vietnam War 1956-75
- Apollo II and the Moon Landing July 16, 1969
- World War II, 1941-45
- Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln , April 14, 1865
- The Louisiana Purchase , 1803
- The American Revolution , 1776-1781
- The founding of Jamestown, Chartered in 1606