The history of the United States began with the settlement of Indigenous people before 15,000 BC. Numerous cultures formed. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in the year of 1492 started the European colonization of the Americas. Most colonies formed after 1600. By the 1770s, 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' 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.