THE ORIGINS OF AMERICA (1492-1776)
The original inhabitants of the USA were the Amerindian people.
The first recorded expedition of Europeans to America came with Christopher Columbus in 1492.
He was followed by Spanish colonisers who reached Florida in 1513 and New Mexico in 1540.
The first British settlement was in Jamestown in Virginia in 1607 and in 1608 French settlements were established in Quebec, Canada.
In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers arrived, escaping from religious persecution.
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (1775 – 1783)
The British controlled the 13 colonies which formed the basis of what is now known as the USA.
They virtually ran their own affairs and resented having to pay taxes and have their laws and trade subjugated to a distant English monarch.
The rebellion began in 1775 with the Boston Tea Party, and in 1776 they issued the Declaration of Independence at the same time they nominated George Washington as their first President.
The British army was defeated by a lack of organisation, and in addition, the French supported the American rebels.
In 1787 the Americans drafted a written code defining the powers of the government: the American Constitution.
LA NASCITA DEGLI STATI UNITI D'AMERICA: RIASSUNTO BREVE
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
The period following the American Declaration of Independence was one of war and expansion for the New America.
Thomas Jefferson bought the French territories, the Louisiana and ended French control in mainland America.
In 1819 the USA bought Florida from Spain.
In 1845 Texas and part of Mexico declared itself independent and decided to join the USA. Mexico contested this, but at the end of a 3 year conflict America acquired not just Texas, but also Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.
Around 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American war, gold was discovered in San Francisco, California.
The fast expansion of the new America began to divide the Americans. The southern states, where slavery was allowed and actively used, controlled the country. while, the northern states disagreed with slavery. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president. He was against slavery and tried to pass laws against it. South Carolina, rebelled against this and broke away from the Union. Ten other southern states followed its example and formed the Confederate
APPROFONDIMENTI SUGLI STATI UNITI
States of America. In 1861 this led to a war between the northern states (the Union) and the southern states (the Confederates). The war lasted 4 years. It was won by the Union and slavery was abolished in 1863. Lincoln in 1865 was assassinated and the southern states were occupied by northern soldiers until 1877.
With their withdrawal, the southern states instituted a policy if segregation, a form of racial apartheid, which remained in force for the next hundred years.
The last 2 states to be added to the Union were Alaska in 1959 and Hawaii in 1898.
TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICA
The great War (1914- 1918)
The Americans initially saw the war as a European affair and were loath to become involved (li ci potrebbe andare bene anke “wan’t be involved”?).
However, trade between the Allies and the USA increased and this trade included armaments.
American ships carried arms to the Allied ports.
The Germans became increasingly frustrated by this level of trade and by what they saw as American collaboration with the Allies. In the early months in retaliation, they sank five American ships carrying supplies to the Allies.