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USA History

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Christopher Columbus arrived in America in 1492. He was financed by Spain and landed in Bahamas. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the coast of Florida. Americans lived in what is presently known as the United States for thousands of years before European colonists began to arrive, mostly from England, after 1600. Jamestown, Virginia was the first successful English town in North America as English people first went there in 1607. The French settled along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast and the Spanish settled in Florida. There were 13 colonies by 1733. Soon Americans started believing that they were not being treated equally to the Englishmen living in England. After merely two years, Revolutionary war took place between the colonies and England. People from the thirteen colonies created the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

USA Capitol from NW
By UpstateNYer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With large-scale military and financial support from France and military leadership by General George Washington, the American Patriots won the Revolutionary War. George Washington helped lead the Americans during the Revolutionary War, which the Americans won. Continental Congress approved the first official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first U.S. constitution in the month of November of the same year.

Congress party met in Philadelphia to write a new article in 1787 which was later adopted in 1789. George Washington was unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors on Feb. 4, 1789. After his becoming the President, Constitution came into effect and ratified by 9 states. U.S. Supreme Court met for the first time at the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City on Feb. 2, 1790. Bill of Rights, the first amendment to the constitution was done on Dec 15, 1791.

John Adams became second President of United State on march 4, 1797. On June 15, 1800 the US capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington DC and Congress party met for the first time on Nov 17, 1800. Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC on March 4, 1801. He purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, doubling the size of the United States. Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo., on expedition to explore the West and found a route to the Pacific Ocean on May 14, 1804.

James Madison became the fourth president on March 4, 1809. A second and last war with Britain was fought in 1812. U.S. declared war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion on June 18, 1812. British Captured Washington DC, and set fire to White House in august 1814. The war officially ended on Dec 24, 1814 after signing the Treaty of Ghent.

The slavery problem was increasing day by day and aggravated political battles. Slavery was abolished in north part but was still in practice in south. Abraham Lincoln presidential election was based on ending the slavery and punishment for those who practice.

Top ten US Abolitionists:

  • Anthony Benezet
  • David Walker
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • Frederick Douglass
  • John Brown
  • Lydia Maria Child
  • Henry Ward Beecher
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Wendell Phillips
Denmark Vesey , an African American planned a revolt in South Carolina but the plot was discovered later and Vesey and other conspirators were hanged in 1822. Later William Lloyd Garrison began a weekly paper with the mission of abolishing the slavery. He played an important role in the Abolitionist Movement. Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 1, 1836.

US declared war against Mexico to gain California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming and signed Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to get the rights of the regions on Feb 2, 1848. Abraham Lincoln came to national attention in a series of seven debates with Sen. Stephen A. Douglas during Illinois state election campaign in 1858 and became President in 1860. American civil war started in 1861 as several states in the South left the United States to start a new country called the Confederate States of America.

Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth in Washington, DC, and is succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson. U.S. further acquired Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million. US economy was becoming one of the largest economy in the world in the Gilded age.

U.S. entered World War I, declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and Austria-Hungary on Dec. 7, 1917. The U.S.stock market got crashed in 1929 and the Great Depression took place. The United States became a world power, fighting in World War I and World War II. The United States later entered World War II along with Britain, the Soviet Union, and the smaller Allies. The war started with Germany invading the Poland and later invading Holland, Belgium and France. France surrendered and in 1941, Germany invaded Russia.

Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and USA declared war on Japan. Hitler announced the war against USA the same year. In May 1942, USA surrendered Philippines to Japan and Germans began retreat from Moscow area. Italy surrendered in September 1943, whereas Germans surrendered in Stalingrad. Japan continued fighting in Philippines till March 1944 and USA intervened with troops landing in Okinawa of Japan.

Russia declared War against Japan in August 1945 and Japan surrendered. USA granted independence to Philippines. The US helped defeat Nazi Germany in Europe and defeated Japan by dropping atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. The United States and the Soviet became strong rivals after World War II . President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Vietnam War took place between North Vietnam and South Vietnam with the North Vietnam had support of China and the USSR whereas South Vietnam had support of USA. US plane began bombing in North Vietnam in Feb, 1965. US troop invaded Cambodia on May 1, 1970. Representatives of North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the U.S. sign a cease-fire agreement in Paris on Jan. 27, 1973.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr., became the first men to land on the Moon on July 20, 1969. During the 1980s, the United States was dominated by the Reagan Era led by President Ronald Reagan. During the era, the American economy grew and American-Soviet relations got better. George W Bush became 43 rd president of United States in 2000. Two hijacked planes rammed into World Trade Center, a third crashed in Pentagon and fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania. The main mastermind behind the attack was Osama Bin laden, Al- Qaeda Chief. Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States in 2008.

USA Presidents:

18th Century
  • George Washington
  • John Adams

19th Century
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Martin Van Buren
  • William Henry Harrison
  • John Tyler
  • James K. Polk
  • Zachary Taylor
  • Millard Fillmore
  • Franklin Pierce
  • James Buchanan
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Rutherford B. Hayes
  • James Garfield
  • Chester A. Arthur
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Grover Cleveland
  • William McKinley
  • 20th Century
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • William Howard Taft
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Warren G. Harding
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Harry S. Truman
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Richard M. Nixon
  • Gerald R. Ford
  • James Carter
  • Ronald Reagan
  • George H. W. Bush
  • William J. Clinton

21st Century
  • George W. Bush
  • Barack Obama
Important Dates in USA History:

  • Oct 12, 1492- Columbus Discovered New World
  • May 14, 1607- Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America
  • Mar 5, 1770- Boston massacre
  • Dec16, 1773- Protest against British Tea tax
  • July 4, 1776- Declaration of Independence adopted
  • Sept 3, 1783- Treaty of Paris
  • Feb 4, 1789- George Washington became President
  • Feb 2, 1790- USA Supreme court met for the first time in New York city
  • Dec 15, 1791- Bill of Rights were ratified
  • Mar 4 , 1797- John Adam became 2nd President
  • June 15, 1800- Capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington
  • Mar 4, 1801- Thomas Jefferson became 3rd President
  • Mar 4, 1809- James Madison became 4th President
  • June 18, 1812- USA Congress declared war on Britain
  • Dec 24, 1814- Treaty of Ghent was signed
  • Mar 4, 1817- James Monroe became 5th President
  • Mar 1, 1836- Texas declared independence from Mexico
  • Mar 4, 1837- Martin Van Buren became eighth president
  • March 24, 1844- First telegram sent from Washington to Baltimore
  • April 24, 1846- Mexican War began
  • Jan 24, 1848- Gold was discovered at Sutter's mill in California
  • Nov 6, 1860- Abraham Lincoln became President
  • April 12, 1861- Civil war began
  • April 14, 1865- Abraham Lincoln shot dead
  • Mar 30, 1867- USA acquired Alaska
  • April 6, 1917- USA entered World War 1
  • Oct 24, 1929- New York stock exchange collapsed known as Black Friday
  • Dec7, 1941- USA entered World War 2
  • Aug 6, 1945- USA dropped bomb on Hiroshima, ending the World War
  • Oct 24, 1945- United Nation was established
  • April 4, 1949- NATO was established
  • Sept 11, 2001- Terrorists attacked World Trade Center
  • Nov 4, 2008- Barack Obama became first Black USA President

History Timeline

Before 1600

1492 - Columbus funded by Spanish Crown landed in America.
1508 - Spanish Invaded Puerto Rico
1513 - Ponce de Leon landed in Florida

1600- 1800

1607 - English invaded Jamestown, Virginia
1609 - Spanish invaded Santa Fe
1638 - The first colonial printing press was made in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1673 - Dutch military forces took control of New York from the British.
1693 - The College of William and Mary was established in Williamsburg, Virginia.
1700 - In June, Massachusetts asked Catholic Priests to leave the colony with the penalty of Execution. New York adopted the similar law.
1701 - The French invaded Detroit. In October, Yale College was founded in Connecticut.
1727 - King George II ascended the English throne.
1733 - The Molasses Act, passed
1750 - The Iron Act, passed
1767 - The English Parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Acts
1783 - England officially declared an end to hostilities in America
July 8, 1783 - The Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolished slavery in Massachusetts.
1789 - George Washington was elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors

1800- 1900

1800 - The U.S. capital was changed from Philadelphia to Washington, DC
1814 - British burned Capitol building in Washington
1819 - Alabama admitted as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal numbers.
1821 - New York granted right to vote to Black Americans.
1824 - Mexico became republic and abolished slavery.
1829 - Georgia prohibited the Education of Slaves
1835 - Texas declared independence from Mexico
1846 - War with Mexico
1853 - President Filmore died in office and succeeded by Franklin Pierce
1859 - Oregon admitted as State
1864- Lincoln shot and died next day
1883 - Civil Rights Act of 1875 declared unconstitutional
1889 - Washington admitted as state

1900- 1950

1903 - Wright Brothers made news for first flight
1914 - World War 1 started in Europe
1915 - First long distance telephone service started between New York and San Francisco
1918 - World War 1 ended
1921 - Warren G. Harding was elected as the 29th president
1923 - President Harding died suddenly
1929 - Stock market crashed, Great Depression started
1932 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas elected as first woman Senate
1933 - Franklin Roosevelt was elected President
1939 - World War 2 started in Europe with German invading Poland.
1940 -
-March- Germany invaded Holland, Belgium and France
-June- France Surrendered
-April- Germany invaded Russia
-December- Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. USA declared war on Japan, Hitler declared war on USA
-January- Germans began retreat from Moscow area
-May- U.S. surrendered Philippines to Japan
-November- Americans invaded North Africa
-January- Roosevelt and Churchill met in Casablanca, North Africa
-February- Germans surrendered in Stalingrad, huge loss.
-September- Italy surrendered
-November- FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Teheran, Iran
-February- Dresden bombed
-March- Japanese continued fighting in Philippines.
-April- U.S. troops land on Okinawa (near Japan)
-May- Germany Surrendered
-June- U.N. Charter Signed
-August- Russia declared war on Japan, Japan surrendered
1946 - U.S. granted independence to Philippines
1949 - NATO established
1950 - U.S. recognized Vietnam

1950- 2000

1950 - Korean war started, North Invaded South
1953 - U.S. provided military aid to France to suppress Vietnam freedom fighters
1955 - U.S. began economic aid to South Vietnam
1959 - Alaska and Hawaii became states
1961 - USA took control of Vietnam
1963 - John Kennedy assassinated
1965 - Race Riots in Watts area of L.A
1966 - More race riots in many major cities
1967 - Major race riots of history took place in USA
1969 - Vietnam peace talks started
1973 - Vietnam war ended
1977- Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th president
1981- Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president
1985 - Reagan's second inauguration
1990 - Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait, leading to the Persian Gulf War
1992 - Bill Clinton became President

America's Major Wars

Many wars have been fought by USA not just on US soil but on other many parts of world where USA participated whether its military participation or providing financial help. Below are the following major wars:

  • Revolutionary War
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican War
  • American Civil War
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • Gulf War

Important People in the History of USA

The following list highlights the key people of America who played great roles in the history of USA.

  • Susan B. Anthony- She was the women’s rights leader from 1851 until her death in 1906.

  • John Brown- He was the extreme abolitionist who used violence to promote his movement.

  • Sam Adams- He was the American war revolutionary.

  • Ben Franklin- He was an inventor, statesman, diplomat, signer of the Declaration of Independence and delegate to Constitutional Convention.

  • Thomas Jefferson- He wrote the Declaration of Independence; became the 3rd President of the United States and purchased the Louisiana territory, doubling the size of the United States.

  • George Washington- He was the leader of the Continental Army who became the first President of the United States.

  • Andrew Jackson- He was the leader of the original Democratic Party and a “President of the people”.

  • Jefferson Davis- He was the President of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

  • Ulysses S. Grant-He was the General of the Union Army and was responsible for winning the Civil War for the North.

  • Stephen Douglas- He was the Illinois Senator and excellent public speaker.

  • Abraham Lincoln- He was the 16th President of the United States, helped ended the civil war.

  • Patrick Henry- He was the renowned for his patriotic poems. His most famous quote included the words, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

  • James Madison- He is known as the “Father of the Constitution”.

  • Frederick Douglass- He was a former slave who became the best-known black abolitionist in the country.

  • Douglas MacArthur- He led U.S. troops in the Pacific in World War II.

  • Mark Twain- He was the author and humorist of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries
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