A Summarized History of the United States
Do you know the land that became the U.S has been inhabited for over 50,000 years? Hunters were the first people who live on this land. These people migrated from Asia to North America. Eventually, these people (Native Americans) spread across the American continent.
The Arrival of Europeans in the Americas
The history of the continent changed forever when Christopher Columbus – an explorer arrived from Spain in 1492. His journey to the Americas revealed vast lands to the Europeans. They came to know about the continents of North America and South America as well as the nearby islands. It was like a new World for the Europeans.
The discovery of Columbus began an era of exploration and colonization for Europeans that had a shattering effect on Native Americans who became victims of European barbarism. Many even died of health conditions carried by the Europeans. Others were forced into slavery or killed in warfare.
The Colonial Period
The Colonial Period is a historic era in the history of the United States. The British founded 13 colonies. Their first settlement on the American continent was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
Twelve years later, in 1619, the first representative assembly was organized in American by the people of Virginia. This was known as the “House of Citizens” or the “House of Burgesses.”
The British established Plymouth Colony, which was the second English colony in America founded in 1620 by Pilgrims. English colonies spread rapidly along the coast near Virginia and Massachusetts in the early 1600s. The British also made permanent settlements in New Hampshire region in 1623.
Most of the English colonies established legislative assemblies to govern themselves. These were similar to the British parliament. People who paid taxes or owned properties could become a member of the legislative assembly or allowed to vote.
The governments of all colonies made substantial economic development. They also emphasized on areas like education, religious freedom, communication, self-government, and travel.
These advancements in the socio-economic development led to population growth. About 250,000 people were living in 13 colonies in 1700. This number had reached 1.6 million by 1760.
The American Revolution
After the Indian and French War, relations between the American colonies and the British government started to break down. For over 150 years, the American colonies had been making efforts to develop their own self-government, society, and economy.
The British government had ruled them only lightly. The revolution was caused by colonial opposition to the British that wanted to impose more control over them. In the year 1763, everything began to change. American colonies stop paying for the cost of the war. This had led to the revolution.
The New Nation
Under the new constitution, the authorities held new elections in 1789. As a result, George Washington became the first-ever president of the U.S. Alexander Hamilton, and others who believed in a single central government were called federalists.
Those who feared that the central government might get too much power and authority were called Republicans or Anti-Federalists. The most popular republicans of the time were Thomas Jefferson and his followers. These two groups marked the beginning of political groups (parties) in the U.S.
These events were followed by the civil war, industrial development, reforms movement, formation of new territories, First World War, the great depression, the Second World War, the cold war, the civil rights movement, 9/11, etc.
Author: George Morris
A true American that was born in Bend, Oregon with family roots that cover our great Nation. Proud to be an American and live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!