The “Human Side” of American History
The history of the United States can be traced back to the time before the country’s colonization. Before the colonization period, the native population dominated the country. Indigenous population mainly lived in the current territory of the United States. The Europeans colonized the US and their arrival started after 1600. By the years of 1770s, the British had formed thirteen colonies with about two and half million individuals. The British colonies consisted of prosperous people whose growth was fast. The British colonies were growing fast and they started to develop their own political systems as well as legal systems that were autonomous in structure. These colonies were controlled from a central British government, which imposed new taxes. The Americans insisted that the taxes were institutional as they were hardly represented in the parliament. This aspect brought about conflicts that turned out to be war by the beginning of April in 1775. The war went on until the colonies become independent from the Great Britain on July 4, 1776. This day was the day when the US declared independence the British. The country then became the United States of America (Breen 47).
America become independent of the British rule during the American Revolution, which was mainly a political upheaval starting from the last halve of 18th century. American Revolution was characterized by the thirteen colonies joining in an attempt to break from the rule of the British Empire. The revolution started from denial of tax reform, from which they rejected authority of the British parliament in the Great Britain. The Great Britain Parliament governed the colonies from abroad imposing taxes that were then used to initiate economic development in the Great Britain rather than initiating development projects within the United States, which was then made up of the thirteen British colonies. The American Revolution resulted to the American War of Independence, which started in 1775 and ended in 1783. Peace came fully in 1783after the Revolutionary War, which has George Washington as the General Commander of the US military (Wood 87).
During the Revolutionary War, the thirteen colonies were partially united by a weak federal government. This kind of federal government maintained existence even after the war. The federal government was established by the then Articles of Confederation. George Washington became the first US president in 1789, and created a strong government. The American territory was not as big as it is today until Thomas Jefferson became the second president and purchases Louisiana Territory specifically from France. This purchase doubled the American territory. Slave trade was then going on but the trade was abolished by the year 1804 in all Northern States (Breen 233). This slave trade flourished in the Southern states leading to conflict over the slave issue. This was the period when industrial revolution was at its peak. Industrial revolution had started in Britain in the 1760s and in a few decades, it had spread to the United States and Western Europe. It started with massive slave trade but ended with the abolishing of the trade as new methods of production that were non-labor intensive were being discovered. The US was the first country to abolish slave trade, a situation that caused divide between the Southern and Northern states. This divide contributed much to the American Civil War (Breen 234).
The American Civil later climaxed due to the slave issue in 1861, with the southern states conflicting with the northern state but President Abraham Lincoln succeeded in defeating the south on the slavery issue from 1863 to 1877. Slavery ended completely in the US by 1877. Since the 1890s to 1960s, the Jim Crow system made the black people inferior in all pillars of national development including political, economic, and social pillars. The entire southern region made up of the southern states was left poor until after the 1950s. The Northern side and western side of the United States grew faster and more rapidly in terms of economy, politics, and social aspects than the south but by the 1970s, development in the US was almost equalizing (Wood 89).
The twentieth century was characterized by a massive breakthrough in entrepreneurship and economic growth. The first half of the century was full of many reforms and human rights movements including allowance for women suffrage. The human right movements contributed to several amendments and creation of new laws that ensured that all human rights reached all citizens. When the World War I started, the US was at first neutral but in 1917, the country declared war on Germany. Participation in the war resulted to Wall Street Clashes in 1928 leading the Great Depression. The Great Depression was solved with the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt by implementing the New Deal Program, which contributed to modern American liberalism (Wood 89). The US still entered the World War II after its attack by Japan, specifically on the US Pearl Harbor in 1941 on December 7. After this war, the Soviet Union and the US become opposing superpowers after which they started the Cold War. The Cold War was done through indirect confrontations Space Race, arms race, and other technologies. The US built its foreign policy based on communism as well as participation in wars like in Korea and Vietnam.
Some of the remarkable economic and technological advancements have been realized in the US during the 1990s. These advancements can be associated with computer technology and advancements in the country’s communication technology. The worst economic recession to the US since the World War II was faced in the 2000s, and mainly in 2008 (Mintz). The US has however been portrayed as the world’s superpower and leads the in the world in terms of economic development, politics, national defense, and technology. The US has become a center of focus by the entire world as it maintains its Conservatism in politics, economic policies, and social practices. It is one of the few countries with a preserved culture in all its national pillars. This movement hardly existed before the 1950s (Allitt 36). The country has the largest immigrant population. It was at one time leading in racism and other kinds of discrimination but this aspect is increasingly changing as witnessed by the election and re-election of a black president (Goldmacher). With the current trends and breakthroughs in politics, economic development and policies, social advancements, and advancing technologies, the country will keep dominating the world for a long time in the future.
Allitt, Patrick. The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History, p. “before the 1950s there was no such thing as a conservative movement in the United States. New York: Yale University Press, 2009. Print.
Breen, T. H. “Mark Edward Lender, review of American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People (2010) by .” The Journal of Military History Vol.76 No.1 (2012): 233-234. Print.
Goldmacher, Shane. Shane Goldmacher, “Obama Overwhelmingly Won Asian-American Vote,” National Journal. Web. Web. 08 Nov 2012. 11 May 2013. <http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/obama-overwhelmingly-won-asian-american-vote-20121108>.
Mintz, Steven. “Learn About the Gilded Age”. Digital History. Web. 05 Jun 2008. 11 May 2013 <http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/gilded_age/index.cfm>.
Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 . Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2009. Print.