America has not always had 50 states. In fact, the most recent states added to the Union are Alaska and Hawaii; both were made part of the United States in 1959.
The original United States was even smaller. It was made up of only 13 colonies, which sailors from England began to settle in the 1600s. Those first colonies were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
In 1776, a group of Americans helped draft a document called the Declaration of Independence, which declared those 13 colonies’ independence from British rule. The document meant that America was its own country and could be ruled by its own people. Following the Declaration of Independence, other territories that were near the original 13 colonies became states one by one. That process took more than 100 years. Right now, the United States has 50 states, although it is still possible that the number might change in the future!