An In-depth Look at the Evolution of US History
The analysis of US history shows that the country constantly develops and is one of the most progressive countries in the world. However, the book “The Rise of the Rest” also proves the significant transformation of all countries worldwide. During the past five hundred years, the most substantial changes affected the distribution of power that has modified the international scene, including culture, economics, and politics. The first stage was the rise of the Western world, that began in the fifteenth century and significantly accelerated in the eighteenth century. This stage crucially contributed to the development of commerce, technology and science and marked the onset of the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was also an important period that signified the rise of America. The period after industrialization significantly contributed to the development of the US and made it a powerful nation. Over the past centuries, the US has dominated the global culture, science, politics, and economics. The 21st century is the third wave of transformations in the modern era. Not only America but also other countries experience economic growth. In 2006, more than 100 countries grew at a significant rate. Thus, the analysis of American history shows that despite all countries’ development, the US remains one of the strongest and most prosperous nations. Over the past decades, it has intensively increased its productivity and become a leading country with high economic development and a strong military force. It demonstrates its significance in the world political arena.
The investigation of the human bones found in Baja, California, Mexico, proves that America’s first inhabitants could be the ancestors of the modern Amerindians. Most likely, the excavated bones came from the Southern Pacific area and Southeast Asia. A recent study shows that the first settlements on the continent were established by Southeast Asians, who came to Australia 60 000 years and occupied America 13 500 years ago. The found skulls did not look like the Amerindians, which is proved by the absence of the broad-cheeked craniums.
Numerous historians consider Native Americans descended from prehistoric Asian hunters. The American Indians were similar to those from Siberia, China, and Mongolia. The findings identified in the 1930s showed that the oldest site dated back to 11400 years ago and looked like the first evidence of the first human occupation of America. However, the previous investigation rejected the discovery of Mexico. In 1996, an archeologist from Chile found the tool’s age of nearly 12 500.
The crucial finding was a skeleton of Luiza, which dates back to 11000 years ago. It lacked similar features to the Americans and looked more like Aborigines from Australia. These people lived 60 000 years ago and were descended from the first people who originated in Africa. Thus, the research shows that Luiza belonged to the Paleoamericans, who came to America before the arrival of the Mongoloids. The comparison of the skulls discovered in Baja, California, showed some similarities with Luiza and the skulls of Paleoamericans identified in South America. The investigation demonstrates that Baja California was the main isolated area in America where the Paleoamericans survived. However, numerous experts consider that it is only possible that the population could evolve in isolation.
Identifying with the first Americans is crucial for the American Indians because they strongly believe their ancestors were America’s first inhabitants. However, some doubts emerged after the skeleton in Kennewick had been found. It was dated back to 9 000 years ago, and its main features were a narrow face and long cranium typical for people from India, the Middle East, and Europe. American Indians had wide face bones and round skulls.
The First Americans
Historians still cannot identify the exact date of the arrival of the first people to America. However, the researchers have identified some disputable facts. Agriculture was adopted more than 8000 years ago, and the first people preferred the sedentary lifestyle of building permanent settlements. The inhabitants had an adequate supply of water and food that prevented frequent migrations and increased population growth. The earliest civilization, Olmes, developed between 1200 and 100 BCE. They were good at agricultural activities but also constructed temples and ceremonial centers with the pyramids. They were famous for creating great stone heads whose weight exceeded twenty tons. The growing community resulted in the development of the economic structure that led to a more developed civilization by 3000. Around 1492, residents reached 4 million, most living in warm subtropical areas. In his diary, Cortez noticed that an Aztec city in modern Mexico had a well-developed system of canals and a good grid system. People built their houses along the grid. Such technology was unknown in the cities of Europe.
By the 15th century, the Incas of Peru had been able to effectively perform brain surgeries. The peculiarity of Mayas was the creation of two calendars that included 185 days. They also widely used the technology of drilling small holes in the stone. Some of the widespread technologies used by this tribe were reinvented by specialists only during the last 100 years.
The region of Anasazi of Four Corners was populated by the community whose origin dated 12 000 years ago and was more advanced in all technical processes than the other Europeans. Some subdivisions had approximately 800 apartments and a network of straight roads. The historians also mentioned the presence of great figures carved into the earth’s surface.
Such civilizations as Inca and Aztecs are known to have built large empires and formed an extensive trading network that was not available to Europeans. However, some technologies were more developed in Asia and Europe. For example, the American culture was enriched by the knowledge about the construction of the wheel due to the invention of Europeans. Initially, Indians did not know about horses as means of transportation. Previously, horses were used only as food because they had no herd animals except for horses. The only domestic animals used for various types of work were dogs, which people ate after they became too old. The tribes often used stone to create tools rather than copper and iron. In South America, people used volcanic glass for the creation of knives.
Christopher Columbus was born in Italy, and as a teenager, he started to work on the merchant ship. The attack on his ship by the French privates led to the sinking of the boat. The end of his career as a sailor motivated him to start his study in Lisbon, but he always dreamed of changing the world. After graduation, Columbus decided to go on his first long journey. To reach Asia more safely, he decided not to sail west across the Atlantic but to use the route through the massive African continent. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the leaders of some European nations were interested in providing sponsorship for the expedition of the explorers.
Columbus contracted with the Spanish officials to fulfill his dream and agreed to give them 10 percent of the gained wealth. He had been traveling from the island to the island for several months in search of wealth. The frequent travels of Columbus to unknown lands induced many people to call him a discoverer of America, but further investigation by historians showed that the statement was false. He was not the first European who visited the “New World”. The Viking explorers sailed to Newfoundland and Greenland in the 11th century. However, Columbus’s constant explorations significantly influenced the lives of people on the American continent. One of the consequences of his explorations was the destruction of the native populations on these territories because of disease and environmental changes. Besides, the Europeans extracted numerous necessary resources from these continents.
Today, the legacy of Columbus is highly controversial as, on the one side, he went down to history as a person who contributed to the transformation of the New World, but on the other side, his explorations led to the devastation of the native population.
The Triangular Slave Trade (Muslim Slaves)
A widely known triangular trading system is the transatlantic slave trade, developed between the 16th and 19th centuries. It consisted of the transfer of slaves together with various foods from West African and European colonies to the American and British colonies. The use of African slaves was crucial for the agricultural development on the continent. Most enslaved people, who were transferred to America, were Muslims.
The arrival of African Muslims made Islam the first religion, which was more widespread than Christianity. The historians who wrote about the slaves mentioned: “what Muslim faith they brought with them was quickly absorbed in their new Christian milieu and disappeared”. Despite the enslavement and many significant obstacles, Muslims used faith and literacy to support the development of their communities. They left numerous writings in diaries and letters about their lives as slaves in America. To undermine slavery, they deliberately used only the Arabic language to communicate.
The owners of the Muslim slaves employed their literacy and ability to write and read. Thus, they were often employed as bookkeepers, coachmen, and personal servants. However, Muslims also experienced open hostility when they practiced their faith. Some Muslims were also compelled to become the pseudo-converters of Christianity to protect themselves and hide their real beliefs. During some historical periods, Islam in America caused revolt and insubordination. It significantly contributed to the incidence of the enslaved people’s uprisings and transfer of people to Africa.
Europeans’ first visit to America happened around 1000. Vikings were the first Europeans who reached the coasts of America, but the diseases destroyed them. The travels and explorations of Columbus led to the deeper discovery of America. The Europeans began to study the lands of America. When Columbus told the Spanish explorers that he found the New World, many began to sail to America in search of riches. However, not all of them intended to find instant wealth. Some of them started to construct homes and build a new life. As a result, numerous colonies were formed in FloriMexico, Mexico, and some parts of South and Central America. The colonizers from England, Holland, and France also sent explorers to America, but they were not interested in establishing permanent colonies. The French trappers visited America intending to trap beavers or otters for the European markets. They also cooperated with the American traders of furs. Further, the French claimed to settle the lands in North America.
Dutch explorers also took the chance to settle along the Hudson River. The majority of them were farmers and merchants. In the 1500s, England tried to set the colonies in America, but the efforts were not successful because of the non-effective ruling of Capitan John Smith. However, in 1620 Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom. Thus, the English settlements began to expand.
Between 1620 and 1670, mass migration to America began. It was connected with the building of thirteen original colonies, the disposition of which is described in Figure 5. In 1700, the war between France and Britain started. As a result, the British defeated the French, and in 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, according to which France had to give away nearly all lands it owned in North America to Britain. As Spain supported France, it had to give Florida to Britain.
The Founding Fathers of America were people who significantly contributed to the development of nationhood and independence of the US. The Founding Fathers were also the individuals who influenced the formation of the Constitution directly or indirectly. The following list may be incomplete, but it represents the people who played a significant role in American history.
Among others, George Washington was the first President of the US. He drafted the Constitution of the US, which replaced the Articles of Confederation. George Washington was the head of the Revolutionary Army. He was also the head of the state of a burgeoning nation.
Tomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was also the third President of America. Jefferson strongly supported democracy and embraced the human rights of a person with the worldwide influence and principles of republicanism. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he worked in the Continental Congress and served as wartime governor of Virginia.
John Adams was the first man who served as the Vice President of the US. Besides, he was the second President of America. Adams strongly advocated for the independence of America from Great Britain. He was included in the commission that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Because of his foresight, he was named the Commander of the Continental Army at the Second Continental Congress. John Adams also contributed to the negotiation of the Treaty of Paris, which put an end to the American Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin was regarded as the elder statesman by the time of the Revolution and later the Constitutional Convention. He was also delegated to the Second Continental Congress. Franklin was included in the list of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. The corrections of Jefferson were included in the final draft. He also participated in the negotiation of the Treaty of Paris.
Alexander Hamilton was famous for being a huge proponent of the American Constitution. He was one of the writers of the Federalist Papers. After the assignment of Washington for the post the first President, Hamilton was assigned to the position of the first Secretary of Treasure. He formed the development plan for the new country, which had high economic efficiency regarding forming the financial basis for the new republic.
James Madison was widely known as the founder of the Constitution because he was responsible for writing its main part. Along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, he was the author of the Federalist Papers that helped to approve the new Constitution. Madison was also the leading person who drafted the Bill of Rights, which was added to the Constitution in 1791. Later, he became the fourth President of the US.
War of Independence
American Revolution, also widely known as the War of Independence, was the fight of the thirteen American colonies against Great Britain. The result of the Revolution was the formation of the US. The main reasons for the outbreak of the American Revolution were the Stamp Act, which was based on the intention to set the governmental authority over the thirteen American colonies; the Townshend Acts, which were based on raising the revenues of the colonies; and the Tea Act that focused on the restoration of the East India Company’s full refund on the 25% duty imposed on the importation of tea into Britain. The other causes included a range of acts that encouraged people living in the British American colonies to revolt against the British Parliament. In 1772, Samuel Adams formed the first Committee of Correspondence, which caused the formation of discussion groups in the colonies. By 1775, the spread of colonial resentment among the cities had induced the formation of volunteer militias, who started to drill openly on the public common territories. In 1775, British Commander sent troops to seize the weapon saved in Concord. During the fight with the Americans, there were killed 270 people from the British troops.
Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson played a significant role in the American Revolution. The Revolution was also accompanied by the Revolutionary War and many events, including the Battle of Saratoga, the formation of the Franco-American Alliance by the US and France, and the participation of Spain in the war against Britain. In 1783, the signing of the Treaty of Paris ended the American War for Independence.
The War of Independence significantly affected the thirteen colonies of the U.S., Ireland, Great Britain, and France. Liberal thought penetrated the colonies of America. In 1783, there were departed the last of the British troops.
The Civil War became a crucial event in the history of America because it resolved two important questions. The first question is whether the US was a strong confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government. The second question was whether this nation, which formed during the announcement that all people should have equal rights, would continue to exist as a country with the world’s greatest number of enslaved people.
The victory of the North in the war ended the institution of slavery and turned America into a country with one nation. However, such a positive event was reached at the expense of the loss of the lives of numerous American soldiers. The Civil War is considered the most destructive event in US history.
The Civil War started because of the inability to compromise between the enslaved and free states. Seven slave states formed the new nation and called it the Confederate States of America, but Lincoln and several other politicians refused to recognize it. Soon after that, four additional states were added to the Confederacy. In 1861, approximately one million armed people extended from Virginia to Missouri. Several battles already happened, but the most significant one started in 1862. By 1864, the goal of the North had changed, and a new strategy based on the total destruction of the South was established.
During the three years, the Northern Army of Virginia under the rule of Robert Lee suffered the attacks of the Union Army, which acted under the leadership of ineffective generals. During this time, the Union Army won many victories over the Confederate Army. In 1865, the Confederation’s invasion of General William Tecumseh Sherman destroyed its economic infrastructure. In the spring of 1865, the armies of Confederation were surrounded and destroyed, leading to the war’s end. From that time, the development of the US as a state free from slavery began.
The First World War
World War I, also called the Great War, was an international conflict involving numerous nations of Europe along with the US, the Middle East, Russia, and other countries. The war pitted the Central Powers, especially Turkey, Germany, and Austria, against alliances like France, Great Britain, Japan, Italy, and, starting from 1917 – the United States. The war led to the fall of four imperial dynasties – Russia, Turkey, Austria, and Germany.
Map of World War I Combat
The green parts of the World War I Combat map show the countries allied with the Triple Entente, the Allied Powers. The areas allied with the Central Powers are orange. At first, the United States did not participate in the World War I. US President Woodrow Wilson intended to retain the country’s neutrality, but Germany’s escalating aggression did not allow him to do that. In 1917, Germany sunk the British liner and killed hundreds of Americans. The fact made the President worry about further possible violations. In 1917, Germany proposed that Mexico join it, and in case of victory, it promised to allocate it to Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.
Such a situation induced the US Congress to declare war on Germany. Numerous Americans were stranded against entering the war, but the President motivated them because otherwise, Germany would commit the invasion first.
The consequences of the war were significant because the civilized Western democracies plunged into a ferocious conflict with uncertain origins and unsatisfactory outcomes. As a result, many people were disillusioned with the American ideals. This generation of people is also known as the lost generation.
The Second World War
The Great Depression caused the unemployment of millions of people in numerous countries. They needed a strong and effective leader. In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the dictator of Germany and accused Jews of all problems faced by Germany. This has led to the arrests and imprisonments of numerous Jews. During that period, the dictator in Italy was Mussolini, and both countries formed an alliance named the Axis Powers. The Allied Powers included Poland, Britain, and France. In 1939, Hitler committed an invasion of Poland, which led to the declaration of war. This event became the reason for the beginning of the World War II.
In 1940, Japan joined Axis to expand the territories of its empire in Asia. The attacks on the country led to the destruction of American navy ships that caused the death of thousands of Americans. Such aggression induced the US to join the Axis Powers and declare war on them. Even though previously, the US people did not want to fight against Europe, this time, the majority of Americans supported the decision concerning participation in the war. One of the significant reasons for their warring was the fact that the Japanese could help the enemy. As a result, America threw atomic bombs on the two Japanese cities that, killed 100 000 people. Finally, Japan and Germany were surrounded, ending the war. After the war, the Allied troops identified that Nazis kept numerous Jews in concentration camps where more than 12 million died. The terrible percentage of deaths was further called Holocaust.
Challenges of the US in Racism, Religion and Politics
Despite the number of anti-discrimination acts, numerous minorities in the US continue to encounter racism. Many African Americans and Hispanics face employment problems, leading to the rise of crimes. The statistical data also show that most of them do not have medical insurance, which causes problems connected with their access to medical care. Numerous people of color suffer from events that they consider as bright evidence that American society finds them of no value. Racism is also brightly represented in the resolution of the criminal issues, the presence of prejudice towards black people, and their frequent accusation of murders and thefts compared with the white representatives, despite the lack of evidence.
The increase of immigrants induced the growth of a wide range of religions, consequently leading to various challenges faced by people with different beliefs. Over the past decades, one of the crucial problems has been the occurrence of terroristic acts, which attracted significant attention from the government to the Muslims. The interview with the Muslims showed that they are often faced with distrust of them. For example, one can see the increased frequency of their inspection after coming to the airport. The government dictated such measures because of the fear of experiencing terroristic attacks. The research showed that over 12 months, Muslims at least once encountered additional attention from the police. The connection between the political and religious challenges is represented in the fact that 23 percent of Muslims consider that the Democratic Party shows a rather unfriendly attitude towards them.
Today, the government of the US is dealing with a great number of challenges. The first challenge is the increase in population caused by illegal migration to the US. The second is determining the country’s role in combating ISIS and understanding whether it is safe to send ground troops to fight against them. The third challenge is building security platforms around the US border with Mexico. The fifth is the low federal minimum wage level, although the governments of separate cities have increased it. The sixth is the lower salary of women compared to the salaries of men. The seventh is that numerous anti-tax advocates still insist that taxes are too high and that the tax code is too complex. The eighth is that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling allows corporations to donate great costs to shadowy and confidential political action committees.
America Now (Politics, Economics, Military)
The US is a federal republic ruled by the President, federal courts, and the Congress, which acts according to the Constitution. The federal government shares its sovereignty with the state government. The President rules the executive branch and formally does not depend on legal or judicial. The operation of the cabinet is based on the advertising of the President. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. Significant differences exist between the political systems of the developed democratic countries and America. The major contrasting features include greater power of the upper house of the legislature, the division of powers between the executive and legislature, the significant power of the Supreme Court, and the supremacy of only two main parties. Third parties are less influential politically due to the stringent historic controls.
The analysis of the economic situation shows the constant growth of the US. In 2017, the level of GDP raised to 3,2 percent. The real disposable personal income reached 0,6 percent. In 2017, information services, finance and insurance, and manufacturing of durable goods became the leading contributors to the significant economic growth of America. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 18 of 22 industries contributed to the significant increase in real GDP. The positive index also shows the American net international investment position, which increased to -$7,768.7 billion. The crucial aspect is that the state personal income reached 0,7 percent.
The Armed Forces of America consist of Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Forces. The President of the US is the Commander of the Army and is engaged in forming the military policy with the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Homeland Security. The federal executive departments serve as principal bodies, due to which the military policy is carried out. The American Army is one of the largest militaries in the number of soldiers. The great number of soldiers is a reason for good payment to the volunteers. In order to fund the military forces, America spends nearly $580 billion annually. The Air Forces of the US are the largest in the world. The Navy is also the largest tonnage of the Navy, and the Marine Corps is the second-largest army in the world.
The 21st century as the third powerful shift of the modern era significantly contributed to the economic, political, and cultural development of numerous countries, including America. It is for the first time in all nations’ history that people have become witnesses of global growth. However, many countries still develop much slower than other states and live in poverty. The abovementioned events induced the formation of the international structure according to which countries from all parts of the world act not as observers but as rightful players. This has also induced the formation of the World Trade Organization and the European Union. Non-governmental groups mushroom daily to inspect every issue in every country. Corporations and capital are transferring from place to place in search of a better location for founding the business. Since 1991, numerous countries have lived under American leadership, the specific unipolar world in which the open global economy accelerates and expands dramatically.
Regarding the political and military issues, it is possible to state that the US maintains a leading position. However, regarding such dimensions as financial, industrial, cultural, and social spheres, power distribution is moving away from American dominance. Nevertheless, this issue is necessary for the prosperity of the country.
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4. Cornwell, B. (2015). Waterloo: The history of four days, three armies, and three battles. Harper.
5. Foner, E. (2017). Give me liberty! vol. 2: An American history. Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W.
6. Meyer, G. J. (2017). The world remade: America in World War I. Bantam.
7. Reynolds, D. (2010). America, the empire of liberty: A new history. Penguin.
8. Selzer, A. (2009). The smart Aleck’s guide to American history. Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
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