History of United States

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, the first Americans – immigrants from northeast Asia appeared approx. 10-15 thousand years ago, having got to Alaska through the Bering Strait. Later, the southern and western parts of the continent began to be developed by immigrants from Polynesia. The first Europeans in the New World were the Spaniards. In October 1492, three Spanish caravels under the command of Christopher Columbus discovered the island, named San Salvador – “Holy Savior”. In 1507, the Lorraine geographer M. Waldseemüller proposed that the New World be called America in honor of the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci, a participant in expeditions to the eastern coast of South America (1499–1504).

The first English settlement in America appeared in 1607 in what was later called Virginia. French explorers appeared on the continent in the 17th century. In August 1619, a Dutch ship arrived in the New World, bringing the first black Africans to America. Negroes began to turn into lifelong slaves. Slave labor is the basis of the plantation economy in the southern colonies, the main crops of which were tobacco and cotton. In December 1620, the ship Mayflower arrived on the Atlantic coast of the continent with 102 English Calvinist Puritans, who called themselves Pilgrims. Over the course of 75 years after the founding of Virginia, 12 more colonies arose – New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The development of the colonies was accompanied by wars with the Indians. Control over the political and economic life of the colonies remained with the British government. The English Revolution of 1688 marked the beginning of the development of capitalist relations and accelerated the formation of a common English market, spurring the development of social processes in the colonies. Adopted in England in con. 17 – 1st floor. 18th century laws infringed on the economic interests of the American colonies and turned them into a raw material appendage of the mother country and a market for finished products. The discriminatory policy of the metropolis hindered the development of American industry, agriculture and manufactories, which caused discontent among the colonists, who demanded the democratization of political institutions, the expansion of the electoral rights of the population, and the withdrawal of British troops. Active supporters and propagandists of the ideas of American independence were Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Thomas Paine (1737-1809). In September 1774, the First Continental Congress began its work. The Declaration of Rights he drafted contained a statement of the rights of the American colonies to “life, liberty, and property.” See ehistorylib for more about United States history.

April 19, 1775 began the War of Independence. General George Washington (1732-99) became the commander of the American troops. In May 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the transformation of the colonies into republics independent of Great Britain—states with their own constitutions. On July 4, 1776, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, the main document of the American Revolution, and in 1777, the Articles of Confederation, the provisional constitution of the country, were adopted. The last battles of the War of Independence took place in the autumn of 1782. In 1782, a peace treaty was concluded in Paris, according to which Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States.

On July 4, 1788, the US Constitution came into force. George Washington (1789-97) became the first president of the country. In 1791, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) were adopted, proclaiming the fundamental democratic freedoms. Its provisions did not apply to women, black slaves and Indians.

The first US government was formed in September 1789 and consisted of 5 departments (ministries) – foreign affairs (Department of State), finance, military and justice, as well as the office of the Postmaster General. The US Congress established the 6-member US Supreme Court. Philadelphia was declared the temporary capital of the United States. In 1792, construction began on the presidential residence, which later became known as the White House.

The presence of vast lands and natural resources, a high level of industrial production, an influx of immigrants and expanding foreign trade relations favored the capitalist development of the country. At the same time, the process of extensive development of plantation agriculture in the southern and active colonization of the western parts of the continent was going on. The political interests of the industrial North, which was developing along the capitalist path, and the agricultural slave-owning South, which maintained feudal relations, often clashed. The parties of federalists and anti-federalists were formed, focusing on the interests of various geographical regions and strata of society.

George Washington, who completed his presidency in 1797, in a farewell message to the nation, warned his compatriots against the danger of party squabbles and against “permanent alliances, close contacts with any part of the foreign world.” President John Adams (1797–1801), who succeeded Washington, promoted the adoption of laws directed both against external enemies and against political opposition within the country.

Noticeable progress in political, economic and social life has not eliminated serious problems. Transport and communications in the country were practically absent. Farmers used primitive agricultural machinery. The industry needed skilled labor. The US remained a predominantly agricultural country, with small farms in the North and vast plantations in the South. 90% of the population of the northern states and 95% of the population of the southern states lived in agricultural areas. In the United States, there were only two cities with a population of St. 25 thousand people A significant part of the country’s population lived along the Atlantic coast.

In con. 18th century gradual economic growth began; The population of the country reached 1800 5 million people. New industrial enterprises, transport companies and banks were created. There was an active process of raising the educational and cultural level of the country’s population. Foreign trade began to develop rapidly. To the beginning 19th century 1/7 of all British foreign trade accounted for the share of US foreign trade operations.

After the election of Thomas Jefferson (1801–09) as president, a revision of the main directions of foreign and domestic policy began. In 1803, the USA acquired French Louisiana with a total area of more than 2.6 million km2, as a result of which the American territory almost doubled. In the same year, the 12-year Anglo-French War began in Europe. The enmity between the European powers extended to their American possessions and affected US foreign trade and shipping. The volume of American exports decreased by 5 times. In the US, the volume of unsold food and industrial goods increased, unemployment and the number of bankruptcies grew. There was a danger of a split in the country.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia have not yet been officially established, but Russia’s presence on the continent was already noted in Ser. 18th century As a result of the development of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska by Russian fishers in 1799, the Russian American Company (RAC) arose, which during its 68-year existence played a prominent role in US domestic trade and in Russian-American trade and economic relations. The RAC plays a key role in the emergence of the concept of “Russian America” and the strengthening of Russia’s position on the Pacific coast of North America. In 1807 diplomatic relations were established between the USA and Russia.

The administration of President James Madison (1809–17) faced serious foreign, domestic, and economic problems. The growing volume of industrial production, the influx of immigrants from Europe required the expansion of the United States. The country was divided into two camps. The southern and western states were interested in territorial expansion at the expense of English Canada and Spanish Florida, as well as at the expense of lands in the West belonging to Indian tribes. In June 1812, the Anglo-American War began. In August 1814, the British occupied the US capital, Washington; by September 1814, a significant part of the northeastern United States was in their hands. In 1814, the Ghent Peace Treaty was signed, according to which both sides retained the borders that existed before the war. Indian tribes were forced to cede to the US government much of their land north of the Ohio River, as well as southern and western parts of Alabama. In an 1819 treaty, Spain ceded Florida to the United States. To con. By 1819, there were already 22 states in the Union (11 free and 11 slave). An equal number of free and slave states were maintained in the name of maintaining the equality of their representation and protecting their interests in the US Congress. The admission of new states to the Union was associated with an imbalance and caused a complication of the internal political situation. In 1821, the Missouri Compromise was adopted, which temporarily ensured the observance of numerical equality. He added the 24th state to the Union, but created the prerequisites for a future civil war. In 1823, President James Monroe (1817–25) proclaimed the doctrine prohibiting the intervention of European countries in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere (the Monroe Doctrine). During the years of the presidency of John Quincy Adams (1825–29), Andrew Jackson (1829–37), and Martin Van Buren (1837–41), the process of capitalist development of the country continued, accompanied by an intensification of the internal political and economic struggle between the industrial North and the slave-owning South. The formation of political parties continued. There was an active growth of labor and abolitionist movements. Over the next 20 years, the administrations of 6 presidents – William Harrison (1841), John Tyler (1841-45), James Polk (1845-49), Zachary Taylor (1849-50), Millard Fillmore (1850-53) and Franklin Pierce ( 1853-57). Texas was annexed in 1845 and became the 28th state. In 1846, the United States purchased a significant part of Oregon from Great Britain, and as a result of the American-Mexican War of 1846–48 they annexed 1.36 million km2 of Mexican territory. During these years, the United States acquired a total of more than 2.5 million km2 of additional territories and proclaimed in 1845 the concept of “predetermined destiny”, justifying the right to dominate any part of the New World from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. In 1850 California became the 31st state of the United States. Under the 1853 treaty, the United States purchased from Mexico another approx. 140 thousand km2 of territory. The process of ousting the Indian tribes from their ancestral lands continued. The admission of new states to the United States exacerbated the contradictions between the North and the South. Attempts to reconcile the interests of the political and economic circles of these regions brought only temporary results. The question of the spread of slavery to the territories recently admitted to the Union flared up with renewed vigor in 1854, after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. The election of a new US president, who became James Buchanan (1857-61), split the country along the so-called. “Mason-Dixon lines” – a conditional border separating supporters and opponents of slavery. The abolitionist movement grew in the country, culminating in the uprising of 1859 led by John Brown.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) became the spokesman for the interests of the political, economic, and social forces opposed to slavery. December 20, 1860 South Carolina decided to secede from the Union. It was followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. On February 8, 1861, the seceding states announced the creation of the Confederate States of America. On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began in the country, which lasted until May 1865. Shortly before the end of the war, an attempt was made on A. Lincoln, as a result of which he was killed. He was succeeded by Andrew Johnson (1865–69). During his presidency, most of the formerly breakaway states were reinstated.

The Civil War contributed to the development of the American economy, especially the steel and electrical industries, as well as transportation and communications. An impressive financial and intellectual potential of the nation was thrown into the service of the economic needs of the state. The process of the industrial revolution in the United States was facilitated by the largest technical inventions and discoveries of the 2nd floor. 19th century in various areas of American industry and agriculture. The transformation of an agrarian country into an industrialized state was especially noticeable in the northeastern and western regions of the country. Cities grew, factories and plants were created, mines for the extraction of gold, silver and iron ore were laid, transcontinental railroads were built. Began to take shape and gain economic power,

Until con. 19th century 5 more politicians became US presidents – Rutherford Hayes (1877-81), James Garfield (1881), Chester Arthur (1881-85), Grover Cleveland (1885-89 and 1893-97), Benjamin Harrison (1889-93) and William McKinley (1897-1901); two of them, Garfield and McKinley, were assassinated. By the end of the century, there were 45 states in the United States. The Spanish-American War began and ended in 1898. In the Far East, the principle of “open doors” was proclaimed, which provided the United States with unlimited access to the Chinese market. The rapid development of industry and agriculture was accompanied by an increase in the concentration of industry and the centralization of finance capital. The large monopoly capital of the United States has taken a leading position both nationally and internationally, thus marking the advent of the era of state-monopoly capitalism in the country and the era of imperialism in the world. Numerous political parties arose and disappeared within the country, and the spread of socialist ideas was noted. President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–09) became an active propagandist and conductor of the policy of imperialist expansion and bourgeois reformism. The measures taken by him to limit the growth and activity of monopolies did not produce the expected effect. The most important branches of the American economy—metallurgical, oil, coal, food, and rail transport—were in the hands of monopoly associations. The US foreign policy was formed in accordance with the interests of the country’s big business. Roosevelt proclaimed the “big stick” policy and made it the duty of the United States to act as an international policeman throughout Central and South America. Roosevelt’s foreign and domestic policy was continued by his successor, President William Taft (1909–13). After the outbreak of World War I, the administration of President Wilson (1913–21) declared neutrality, and American capital assumed the role of suppliers and creditors to the Entente countries. In April 1917 the United States entered the war. On November 11, 1918, a peace treaty was signed in Versailles, which put an end to the war. Wilson took an active part in the preparation of this document and its constituent part – the Charter of the League of Nations, but he failed to obtain the consent of the US Senate to approve the treaty.

History of United States