The USA - history

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: Dievča sesik
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 23.06.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
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The first known inhabitants of this area that are now called “The Native Americans“ or “Indians“, crossed the Bering Strait about 35 000 years ago and spread through the whole continent. They were living mostly from agriculture, hunting, gathering, and fishing.

Although we know that the Vikings established a colony somewhere along the North America east coast at the beginning of the eleven century, we have no proofs about their presents in USA area.

North America didn’t have gold which would attract main world powers, so its colonisation is of a quite later date. It also enabled smaller countries to establish here their owns colonies. They profited mainly from fur trade and newly discovered plants like corn, tobacco or potatoes.     

So, the first documented European settlements is from 1565. It was Spain that annexed the area of Florida, Texas, Mexico, California.. France annexed central part up the river Mississippi (called Louisiana). Netherlands established colony New Amsterdam. Sweden built Fort Christina. England had difficulties at first but in the end succeeded in establishing Jamestown in Virginia (1607). Many British settlers were puritans, who came to the New World to gain religious freedom. Area of their settlement was called New England and it’s centre was Boston. While Virginia settlers grew tobacco, New Englanders concentrated on trade.

More and more colonies were established in the  l7th century, southern plantations could no longer obtain an adequate supply of English workers and so they decided to introduce slavery to America. Southern plantations soon became relied on the slave labor.

Unfortunately England decided that certain products from colonies could be sold only in the mother country and England has the privilege in importing goods to the colonies. These act was disaster for colonies economy.

In the year 1773 colonists in Boston throw British tea worth more then 10 000 pound to the see. These act is called The Boston Tea Party. Thirteen American colonies united and decided to revolt against British rule. War brake out in 1775. British army was far more powerful but the situation changed after France decided to help revolting colonies.

On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson and declared independent USA as well as principles of American society. USA army led by George Washington finally forced British army to surrender at Yorktown in 1781. In the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, Britain accepted independence of USA.  

Constitution of United States was written in 1787 and ratified one year later. First amendment was added in 1791 it was The Bill of Rights. George Washington became the first president.

After war with revolutionary France USA decided that it wouldn’t have any political ties with another nations. Country was characterized by a decentralized economy, minimal government and maximum freedom of action and enterprise for everybody. 1803, the territory of Louisiana was purchased from the French.

During Napoleonic wars British ships were controlling most of the Atlantic ocean and prevented American ports from exporting and importing goods. As a response 1812 USA declared war to the Britain. They were quite successful in Canada but British naval blockade of East Coast hit hardly American trade. Peace was signed in 1814 and reestablished pre-war status quo.   

1819 Florida was bought from Spain. Three years later President James Monroe announced the Monroe Doctrine. No colonies or European intervention in The New World were tolerated. There were two major political parties. The Whigs, who wanted strong government, social policy and central institutions and the Democrats, who were based on liberal principles.

1846 Oregon territory joined USA and war with Mexico broke out. Main issue was Texas. USA were victorious. Peace was signed 1848 and southern border of the USA moved to the river Rio Grande.        

The main problem became slavery. Originally slave and non-slave countries were equal in number, but newly joined countries could easily destroy these balance. The Missouri Compromise which split the North America in two halves was just temporary solution. While the North became industrial area and supplied south with manufactured products, the South planted essential tobacco and cotton. After successful war with Mexico there was danger that slavers would gain dominant position in central government. In response new Republican party was created. They were for abolition of slavery and had support of northern countries. Against them stood Democrats with southern support.

When Republican president candidate Abraham Lincoln won election it 1860, South Carolina and one year later 10 another southern countries secede from the USA and created independent Confederate States of America. As their president was elected Davis Jefferson, and they formed new government in Montgomery. Confederation started war and had successes at first but soon was unable to withstand industrial power of Union. 1862 President Lincoln announced emancipation of slaves. 1865 Confederation General Lee surrendered to the Union Genaral U. S. Grant and that was the end of Confederation.           

Then the reconstruction of the South started . In the following era, industrial corporations were gaining more and more powers and nearly ruled the USA. Alaska was bought from Russia in 1867. Hawaiian Islands were annexed. USA gained economical rulership in Latin America. Construction of Panama Canal also began. In the war with Spain 1989 USA gained independence for Cuba and Philippines. 1901 Theodore Roosevelt was elected as a new president. Unlike his foregoers he showed to be a quite strong figure and achieved to establish same kind of cooperation between big businesses and government. 1909 elected Woodrow Wilson continued in Roosevelt’s policy.     

In the times of World War I, Woodrow Wilson tried to protect American trade interests and played as international negotiator. For almost 3 years, he kept the United States out of the war. But after Germany sank several American ships, it was no longer possible just to profit from selling goods to the fighting countries. On April 2, 1917, Congress declared war on the Central Powers. American soldiers in France helped the Allies win the war and so America took part as a victorious country in the negotiations in Versailles. President Wilson was the one to design the Fourteen Points which guided the conference in Paris. They included principles of public-checked diplomacy, freedom of the seas, reductions in armaments and decolonization of empires. Other points concern self determination of the European nations, and also a suggestion to found a League of Nations. In Paris all of the points were accepted, however in the United States, the Senate rejected the treaty (mainly due to the aversion to membership in the League of Nations) on the grounds of traditional American unilateralism, which already started with George Washington.

In the 20's, the American economy was prospering more than any time before. In 1919, the l8th Amendment prohibited the production, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages and so the whole period became known as the Prohibition. However, on Black Friday in 1929, the stock market in New York crashed. Crisis came and soon about one quarter of all workers were unemployed.

1933 F. D. Roosevelt was elected as a new president. During the First Hundred Days he passes many laws, which had to rebuild USA economy and provide necessary social support for all citizens.  

When S. W. W. broke out Roosevelt tried to keep USA out of it once again. But after he had to cut off trades with Japan and allowed Britain to borrow weapons from USA, Japan launched an air raid on Pearl Harbor. It was extremely successful and destroyed most of USN Pacific fleet. It took long time before USA were able to stop Japanese advance at The Battle of Midway and counter-attack. While they were advancing toward the Japan they joined the Britain in the operation Overlord. After the German was defeated, USA president Truman decided to use newly developed nuclear bombs against resisting Japan. Cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were perished before Japan finally surrounded.          

After S. W. W., was introduced the Marshall Plan for Europe reconstruction. It was rejected by the states where the  Soviet Union gained major influence. NATO was founded and when the Soviet Union decided to join this organization, it was rejected. The Cold War between NATO and Warsaw Pact began.

United States soldiers represented a major part of the UNO forces in the Korean War (1950-1953) on the side of South Korea against the North Korean and Chinese troops.

President Eisenhower concentrated on the Middle East. John Fitzgerald Kennedy refused to withdraw from West Berlin 1961. The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 was a reaction to the installation of Soviet nuclear weapons on the island. Kennedy thought this too dangerous and responded with a naval quarantine. The threat of a nuclear holocaust was averted when Khrushchev agreed to ship the missiles back to the Soviet Union in exchange for an American promise never to attack Cuba and respect the revolutionary government led by Castro. Kennedy was assassinated 1963 in Dallas.    In the Vietnam War (1961-1973) American troops fought in the South Vietnam against Vietcong partisans (supported from the Northern Vietnam). USA were unable to win this war, although they caused heavy casualties to the Vietcong. There were massive protests against the war in the USA and American Troops had to be finally withdrawn. 1975 South Vietnam lost and new united Vietnam was created.   

In 1974 the famous Watergate scandal occurred and President Richard Nixon had to resign from his office. New American presidents G. R. Ford and J. Carter had to face both economical and political difficulties. Carter managed to negotiate peace between Egypt an Israel. And created the SALT-II. treaty to slow down arms race.

1979 occurred Iranian hostage crisis, 1980 Soviet Union marched into Afghanistan. President Ronald Reagan worked out SDI, know also as “Star Wars.“ 1983 Lebanon crisis and 1986 Nicaragua scandal. Reagan also negotiated with Gorbachev to reduce strategic weapons. Reagan also convicted him to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 1988. Next president, George Bush, had to handle Iraq invasion to Kuwait 1991. Saddam Hussain forces were defeated during following operation Desert Storm. In the election of 1992 current USA democratic President Bill Clinton was elected. So far he has to face civil war in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, and even more famous “sexgate“ with Monica Lewinska.
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