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USA - History

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9 The U.S.A. - history 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 establishingJamestown 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. OnJuly 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 byGeorge 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 candidateAbraham Lincolnwon 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 internation

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