The history of the United States, a country in North America, began with the arrival from Siberia of Indigenous people before 15,000 BC. Numerous cultures formed, and many disappeared before 1500. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in the year 1492 started the European colonization of the Americas. Most colonies were formed after 1600, and the early records and writings of Johnathan Winthrop make the United States the first nation whose most distant origins are fully recorded. By the 1760s, thirteen British colonies contained 2. 5 million people along the Atlantic coast east of the Appalachian Mountains. After defeating France, the British government imposed a series of new taxes after 1765, rejecting the colonists' constitutional argument that new taxes needed their approval (see Stamp Act 1765). Tax resistance, especially the Boston Tea Party (1773), led to punitive laws by Parliament designed to end self-government in Massachusetts.