The history of the USA

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Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 28.01.2012
Jazyk: Angličtina
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The history of the USA

DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
The Vikings were the first white men who came to North America around the year 1000, under their chief Leif Ericson (called Lucky Leif), but they didn’t settle permanently.
Christopher Columbus was Italian sailor, in service of Spain. The discovery of America wasn’t his intention; he was supposed to find a new way to India. With his three ships called Niňa, Pinta and Santa Maria he landed at island in 1492, he called it San Salvador (Holy Saviour) and he believed he is in India. That’s why he called the local people Indians.
Amerigo Vespucci was Italian sailor; he explored the coasts of South America (Brazil). Some years later a German scholar used the Vespucci’s first name for the name of the new continent.
 
NATIVE PEOPLE 
Indians are divided into many tribes, each tribe has different traditions, speak over 300 languages, believe in many gods -> polytheistic (the most famous god is Manitou)
The Pueblo people were the best organized farming tribe, knew irrigation, grew cotton and made clothing from it, lived in houses made of adobe (mud and straw)
The Apache people were never settled farmers, they collected wild plants, nuts and roots, lived in groups on the plains, stole the food from their neighbors, warriors
The Sioux people were depended on the buffalo, followed the herds, lived in teepees, grew no crops, built no houses, warriors
The Iroquois people were skilled farmers (beans, maize), hunters and fishermen, lived in villages, warriors
 
VIRGINIA
The English were among the last who settle the North America, the British colonization started at the beginning of the 17th century. Virginia was the first English colony founded in 1607, named after Queen Elizabeth I. – the virgin queen. The settlers who came to Virginia were led by captain John Smith. The settlement wasn’t successful, because the settlers didn’t grow any crops, they were looking for gold, died of starvation, diseases (bad location – malaria) and in attacks of Indians. Virginia was saved by tobacco plantations, black people were brought to Virginia to work on plantations -> the beginning of the slavery
 
PURITANS
Group of English Protestants, wanted to reform (purify) the new Church of England, because it was too rich and wealthy.
Pilgrim Fathers were 102 Puritans, who came to America in 1620 because they were afraid of religious persecution. They sailed across the Atlantic ocean on a ship Mayflower. After  landing they met friendly Indians, who helped them survive the 1st winter and gave them seeds of corn and tought them how to plant it. They settled at the place where Massachusetts is now.
The 4th Thursday in November 1621 – the first Thanksgiving day – celebration of the first harvest, Indians were invited to the feast
 
South Colonies were separated from the North colonies by a Dutch colony, Dutch settlers settled Manhattan Island in 1626, called it New Amsterdam
1664 New Amsterdam was captured by the English and renamed New York after the Duke of York.
 
WAR OF INDEPENDECE
Between years 1775 and 1783. Conflict between Britain and the American colonist. Colonies were developing quickly and became economically strong. Britain wanted to protect their own manufacturers, so the British government imposed duties on imported goods (sugar, coffee, glass, tea).  Colonists were very unsatisfied with the taxes -> their motto “no taxation without representation” – they had no representatives in the British parliament.
1773 – Boston Tea Party – a group of Massachusetts colonist disguised as Indians threw a tea from British ship to the sea as a protest against the duties imposed on tea
1774 – 1st Continental Congress – the colonial leaders met in Philadelphia, boycott of English goods was declared
1775 – 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia – army was set up, their leader was George Washington, France was asked to help, the war began
1776 – Colonists declared themselves independent and signed the Declaration of Independence written by a lawyer Thomas Jefferson (all men are equal, have right to life and liberty, representatives in government should be elected by the people)
The war ended after six years (1781) when Washington with the help of France defeated Britain at Yorktown.
1783The Treaty of Paris – the peace settlement recognized the independence and freedom of the 13 colonies.
Loyalist – supported Britain, returned back
The revolutionaries split into conservative wing (Washington) and progressive wing (Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, Paine)
Each state had its own government and laws, they had to be united, but it was difficult
 
THE CONSTITUTION 
The supreme law of the United States, document accepted in 1787
It gave the US a federal system of government -> USA were federation of states
Individual state governments were left, the federal government was stronger (power to collect taxes, control trade, make treaties with foreign countries, organize armed forces)
The Constitution creates the three branches of the national government:
1/ Executive branch – led by the President (1st president – Washington)
2/ Legislative (law-making) branch – represented by the Congress
3/ Judicial branch - headed by the Supreme Court.
The constitution can’t be changed, but amendments can be add – the first 10 amendments are known as the Bill of Rights – promised all Americans freedom of religion, free press, free speech, the right to carry a gun
 
THE CIVIL WAR
1861 – 1865
The 1st Negroes came to America in the same time as the British colonists and they became slaves in the south colonies – they work on plantations or served in a house. Their condition was extremely inhuman, they were bought and sold in auctions
Triangular trade – Europeans took slaves from Africa to America
Many people in the north wanted to set Negroes free and abolish the slaveryabolitionists.
There was a problem if slavery should be allowed in new territories (Oregon)
Southern states defended the slavery and leave the Union. They formed the Confederacy, elected their president Jefferson Davis and started a war.
The north was stronger and defeated south, Lincoln abolished the slavery in 1863, was assassinated by a man from the south.
 
The period of Reconstruction started after the Civil War and lasted for 12 years. The USA were becoming stronger economically and during this period became the world’s leading industrial power. (Most important: coal mining, oil, railways and manufacturing of steel goods)
The black people were given the right to vote and many of them were elected to the Congress. In 1866 was founded a secret organization, called the Ku-Klux-Klan, as an instrument of terror against the black people.
 
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
Giant statue of women which stands in New York harbor. It was presented to the USA by France, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the War of Independence. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel and unveiled in 1886.
 
THE WORLD WAR I
Between years 1914 and 1918. The Allies (France, Britain, and Russia) were fighting against the Central powers (Germany, Austria). The USA were helping and supporting (by guns) Allies, but they didn’t want to enter the war. In 1915 the American ship Lusitania was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine and sunk, over 1000 people died. That is why the president Woodrow Wilson asked the Congress to Declare war on Germany. In 1917 the USA entered the war and helped Britain and France. In 1918 a peace was negotiated and in 1919 the Versailles Treaty ended the war.
 
YEARS OF PROSPERITY AND  WALL STREET CRASH
The USA became very rich after the war, this period was called “The Roaring Twenties”. This ended in 1929 in October 24th on Black Thursday with wall street crash – it was the end the prosperity and the Great Depression started -> unemployment, poverty. It lasted till the beginning of the World War II. The crash was caused by overproduction of goods -> not enough people were buying them.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (democrat) introduced a New Deal – a series of most urgent measures (social reforms, employment)
 
THE WORLD WAR II
Between years 1939 and 1945. The isolationist’s ideas were very strong in Congress in 30’s (they gave the priority to domestic policy over the foreign). The USA entered the war after the attack on the Pearl Harbor  (the main base of American navy ) by Japanese in the 7th of November 1941. The USA defeated Japanese in The Battle of Midway. In the 6th of June 1944 the Allies invaded Normandy with their supreme commander Dwight Eisenhower. This day was called the D-day.
In 1945 the president Harry Truman ordered to drop atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. After that Japanese surrendered, which was the end of the war.
 
SEGREGATION
After the war a problem with segregation arose. Segregation is separating the black people from the rest of the community and refusing them common rights. They were separated in public transport, schools; there were benches and toilets for black. The struggle of black people for equal treatment  was known as  the Civil Rights movement, they demanded  the end of the racial discrimination. Rosa Parker – woman who refused to give up her seat to a white man in a bus – act of civil disobedience.
1968 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. Black is Beautiful movement – 60’s.
 
MODERN HISTORY
After war – time of economic expansion. The US had the 1st man on the moon (Neil Armstrong – 1969). The cold war (war without any conflicts, economic and political reasons) between USA and the Soviet union.
1950 – 1953 – the Korean War – Harry Truman sent American soldiers to help the South Koreans in the fight against the North Koreans.
1965 – 1975 – The Vietnam War – money and soldiers sent to Vietnam
Presidents:
Richard Nixon – republican, Watergate affair – Watergate was a seat of Democratic Party, Nixon
ordered to spy on the democrats
Gerald Ford - republican
Jimmy Carter - democrat
Ronald Raegan – republican
George Bush – republican
Bill Clinton – democrat
George W. Bush – republican
Barack Obama - democrat
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