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of the United States traditionally starts with the Declaration of In dependence in the year 1776, although its territory was inhabited by Native Amer icans since prehistoric times and then by European colonists who followed the vo yages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The largest settlements were by the English on the East Coast, starting in 1607. By the 1770s the Thirteen Colon ies contained two and half million people, were prosperous, and had developed th eir own political and legal systems. The British government's threat to American self-government led to war in 1775 and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. With major military and financial support from France, the patriots won the Ame rican Revolution. In 1789 the Constitution became the basis for the United State s federal government, with war hero George Washington as the first president. Th e young nation continued to struggle with the scope of central government and wi th European influence, creating the first political parties in the 1790s, and fi ghting a second war for independence in 1812. U.S. territory expanded westward across the continent, brushing aside Native Ame ricans and Mexico, and overcoming modernizers who wanted to deepen the economy r ather than expand the geography. Slavery of Africans was abolished in the North, but heavy world demand for cotton let it flourish in the Southern states. Throu gh shipping, manufacturing and supplies, major northern cities were closely tied to the Southern cotton economy and slavery as well. For 50 of the 72 years betw een the election of George Washington and that of Abraham Lincoln, a slaveholder served as president of the United States and, during that period, only slavehol ding presidents were re-elected to second terms. The 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, who called for no more expansion of slaver y, triggered a crisis as eleven slave states seceded to found the Confederate St ates of America in 1861. The bloody American Civil War (1861 65) redefined the nat ion and remains the central iconic event. The South was defeated and, in the Rec onstruction era, the U.S. ended slavery, extended rights to African Americans, a nd readmitted secessionist states with loyal governments. The national governmen t was much stronger, and it now had the explicit duty to protect individuals. Re construction was never completed by the US government and left the blacks in a w orld of Jim Crow political, social and economic inferiority. The entire South re mained poor while the North and West grew rapidly. Thanks to an outburst of entrepreneurship in the North and the arrival of millio ns of immigrant workers from Europe, the U.S. became the leading industrialized power by 1900. Disgust with corruption, waste, and traditional politics stimulat ed the Progressive movement, 1890s-1920s, which pushed for reform in industry an d politics and put into the Constitution women's suffrage and Prohibition of alc ohol (the latter repealed in 1933). Initially neutral in World War I, the U.S. d eclared war on Germany in 1917, and funded the Allied victory. The nation refuse d to follow President Woodrow Wilson's leadership and never joined the League of Nations. After a prosperous decade in the 1920s the Wall Street Crash of 1929 m arked the onset of the decade-long world-wide Great Depression. A political real ignment expelled the Republicans from power and installed Democrat Franklin D. R oosevelt and his elaborate and expensive New Deal programs for relief, recovery, and reform. Roosevelt's Democratic coalition, comprising ethnics in the north, labor unions, big-city machines, intellectuals, and the white South, dominated n ational politics into the 1960s. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in De cember 1941, the U.S. entered World War II alongside the Allies and helped defea t Nazi Germany in Europe and, with the detonation of newly-invented atomic bombs , Japan in Asia and the Pacific. The Soviet Union and the U.S. emerged as opposing superpowers after the war and
began the Cold War confronting indirectly in an arms race, the Space Race, and i ntervention in Europe and eastern Asia. Liberalism reflected in the civil rights movement and opposition to war in Vietnam peaked in the 1960s 70s before giving w ay to conservatism in the early 1980s. The Cold War ended when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, leaving the U.S. to prosper in the booming Information Age ec onomy that was boosted, at least in part, by information technology. Internation al conflict and economic uncertainty heightened by 2001 with the September 11 at tacks and subsequent War on Terror and the late-2000s recession. Main article: Pre-Columbian era See also: Native Americans in the United States It is not definitively known how or when the Native Americans first settled the Americas and the present-day United States. The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connected Siber ia to present-day Alaska, and then spread southward throughout the Americas. Thi s migration might have begun as early as 30,000 years ago and continued throu gh to about 10,000 years ago, when the land bridge became submerged by the risin g sea level caused by the ending of the last glacial period. These early inha bitants, called Paleoamericans, soon diversified into many hundreds of culturall y distinct nations and tribes. The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and pr ehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influence s on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in th e Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern peri od. While technically referring to the era before Christopher Columbus' voyages of 1492 to 1504, in practice the term usually includes the history of American i ndigenous cultures until they were conquered or significantly influenced by Euro peans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus' initial l anding. Colonial period The Spanish conquistador Coronado explored parts of the American Southwest from 1540 to 1542. Main article: Colonial history of the United States After a period of exploration by people from various European countries, Spanish , Dutch, English, French, Swedish, and Portuguese settlements were established. In the 16th century, Europeans brought horses, cattle, and hogs to the Americas and, in turn, took back to Europe maize, potatoes, tobacco, beans, and squash. T he disease environment was very unhealthy for explorers and early settlers. The Native Americans became exposed to new diseases such as smallpox and measles and died in very large numbers, usually before large-scale European settlement bega n. Spanish, Dutch, and French colonization Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to arrive in what is now the United S tates with Christopher Columbus' second expedition, which reached Puerto Rico on November 19, 1493; others reached Florida in 1513. Quickly Spanish expeditio ns reached the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon and the Great Plains. In 1540, Hernando de Soto undertook an extensive explorat ion of Southeast. Also in 1540 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado explored from Arizona to central Kansas. The Spanish sent some settlers, creating the first perman ent European settlement in the continental United States at St. Augustine, Flori da in 1565, but it attracted few permanent settlers. Much larger and more import ant Spanish settlements included Santa Fe, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
and D elaware. and by a British policy of benign neglect (salutary neglect) that permitted the development of an Americ an spirit distinct from that of its European founders. New France was the area colonized by France from 1534 to 1763.European territorial claims in North America. Catholics in Maryland. The Middle Colonies. After 1750 the Acadians French settlers who had bee n expelled by the British from Acadia (Nova Scotia) resettled in Louisiana. along with much smaller numbers of Dutch and Swedes . but Indian tribes often became military allies in France's wars with Britain. British colonization Further information: British colonization of the Americas The Mayflower. although the Yamasee War may have been bloodier . c onsisting of the present-day states of New York. including a secular broadmindedness and mercantile pragmatism in the city. and Scotch Irish Presbyterians on the frontier The First Great Awakening. Over half of all Euro pean immigrants to Colonial America arrived as indentured servants. It languished for decades until a new wave of settlers arrived in the late 17th century and established commercial agriculture based on tobacco. The Dutch were Ca lvinists who built the Reformed Church in America. The colony was taken over by Britain in 1664. where they developed a distinctive rural Cajun culture that still exists. although there was a small earlier settlement in 1 620 by a similar group. The largest conf lict between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century was King Philip's War in New England. New England was initially settled primarily by Puritans who established the Mass achusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Many r . with Georgia Colony the last of the Thirteen Colonies established in 1733. German and Dutch Reformed in the Middle Colonies. on the James River at Jamestown. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roose velt.00 0 convicts to their American colonies. During the first win ter at Plymouth. a rural traditionalism i n the countryside typified by the story of Rip Van Winkle. The strip of land along the eastern seacoast was settled primarily by English co lonists in the 17th century. with many Congregationalists in New En gland. Franklin D. at Plymouth Colony. in which Native Americans had killed hundreds of English settlers. the Pilgrims. but they were tolerant of oth er religions and cultures. where they traded furs with the Native Americans to the north and were a barrier to Yankee expansion from New England. New Jersey. The first successful English colony was established in 1607. They became American citizens in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. the British shipped an estimated 50. were characterized by a large degree of diversity. B etween the late 1610s and the Revolution. Pennsylvania. The colonies w ere characterized by religious diversity. about half of the Pilgrims died. and politicians such as Martin Van Buren. It left an enduring legacy on American cultural and political life. One example of conflict between Nativ e Americans and English settlers was the 1622 Powhatan uprising in Virginia. c. Other French villages along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers were absorbed when the Americans start ed arriving after 1770. The first attempted English settlement south of Virginia was the Province of Carolina. which transported Pilgrims to the New World. Theodore Roosevelt. There were few pe rmanent settlers outside Quebec. 1750 France Kingdom of Great Britain Spain New Netherland was the 17th century Dutch colony centered on New York City and t he Hudson River Valley. Colonial America was defined by a severe labor shortage that employed forms of unfree labor such as slavery and indentured servitude.
Colonists convened the First Continental Congress t o coordinate their resistance to the Coercive Acts. The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act of 1765.oyal officials and merchants were Anglicans. The French and Indian War (1754 1763) was a watershed event in the political devel opment of the colonies. the primary outside influence remained that of Britain. his army defeated the British in two bat tles and recaptured New Jersey. In ensu ing years. Rather. Parliament re sponded the next year with the Coercive Acts. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was a direct action by colonists in the town of Bos ton to protest against the taxes levied by the British government. Religion expanded greatly after the First Great Awakening. and so th e Second Continental Congress was convened in 1775 to organize the defense of th e colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. In the American Revolutionary War (1775 1783) the American capture of the British invasion army at . The Congress called for a bo ycott of British trade. or Die: This 1756 political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin urged the colonie s to join together during the French and Indian War. Political integration and autonomy Join. and petitione d the king for redress of those grievances. Their appeal to the Crown had no effect. as symbolized by Benjamin Franklin's call for the colonies to "J oin or Die". The Congress also called for another meeting if their petition did not halt enfo rcement of the Coercive Acts. The British government felt that the colonies were the primary beneficiaries of this military presence. The influence of the main rivals of the British Crown in the colonies and Canada. and should pay at least a portion of the expense. The Thirteen Colonies began a rebellion against British rule in 1775 and proclai med their independence in 1776 as the United States of America. Formation of the United States of America (1776 1789) Main article: History of the United States (1776 1789) Washington's surprise crossing of the Delaware River in Dec. set ting the stage for the Second Great Awakening beginning in the late 1790s. the war effort resulted in greater political integration o f the colonies. A conflict of eco nomic interests increased with the right of the British Parliament to govern the colonies without representation being called into question. with the French and Indian threat dimin ished. 1776 was a major co meback after the loss of New York City. which sparked outrage and resistan ce in the Thirteen Colonies. Moreover. a religious revival in the 1740s led by preachers such a s Jonathan Edwards. the French and North American Indians. American Evangelicals affected by the Awakening added a new emphasis on divine outpourings of the Holy Spirit and conversions that implanted within new believers an intense love for God. published a list of rights and grievances. Revivals encapsulated those hallm arks and forwarded the newly created evangelicalism into the early republic. imposing a tax on the co lonies to help pay for troops stationed in North America following the British v ictory in the Seven Years' War. was significant ly reduced. King Georg e III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 with the goal of organizing the new North American empire and stabilizing relations with the native Indians. Nathaniel Currier's 1846 depiction of the Boston Tea Party. The co lonists did not share this view. Following Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America. strains developed in the relations between the colonists and the Crow n.
supporting and training his troops. "The United States was the first major colony suc cessfully to revolt against colonial rule. Washington's strategy forc ed the first army out of Boston in 1776. taking the Loyalist leaders hip with them. demanded civic duty. meeting in Philadelphia. In addition. he had a better idea of how to win the war than they did. Although some delegates had hoped to end slavery. and stated that citizens . Washington watched proudly as the final British army q uietly sailed out of New York City in November 1783. To assuage the Anti-Federalists who feared a too-powerful national government. which were ceded by the states to Congress and became territories. soon they became states. three-fifths of the population of slaves was to be counted toward eac h state's total population for purposes of Congressional apportionment. thus balancing the military and naval forces on each side as Britain had no a llies. it guaranteed individual liberties such as freedom of speech and religious practice. liberty and the pursuit of happiness. or even the food supply of th e soldiers.Saratoga in 1777 secured the Northeast and encouraged the French to make a mili tary alliance with the United States. the Second Continental Congress. and maintaining an idealistic Republican Army. As a strategist. July 4 is celebrated as the nation's birthday. and reject ed any aristocracy." Trumbull's Declaration of Independence On July 4. Republicanism emphasized the people are sove reign (not hereditary kings). he retired quietly to his farm in Virginia. The British sent four invasion armies. The delegates from every state wrote a new Constitution that created a much more powerful and efficient c entral government. however. southern d elegates negotiated protection of the international slave trade for 20 years. whom the British counted upon too heavily. jury trials. t he nation adopted the United States Bill of Rights in 1791. this provision increased the political power of southern representatives in Congress. munitions. Comprising the first ten amendments of the Constitution. with the migration of settlers to the Northwest. The Loyalists. it was the first 'new nation'. s electing and mentoring his senior officers. The new nation was fou nded on Enlightenment ideals of liberalism in what Thomas Jefferson called the u nalienable rights to "life. 1776. In the 1780s the national government was able to settle the issue of the western territories. and powers of taxation. since neither Congress nor the states had the funding to provide adequately for the equipment. France brought in Spain and the Netherland s. feared corruption. Washington astonished the world when. His biggest challenge was logisti cs. He limited the British control to New York and a few places while keeping Patriot control of the great majority of the population. or even internal revolts such as the Shays' Rebellion of 1786 in Massachu setts. paychecks. comprised about 20% of the population but never were well org anized. instead of seizing power fo r himself. As a battlefield tactician Washington was often outmaneuvered by his British cou nterparts. The new government reflected the prevailing republican ideals of guarantees of individua l liberty and of constraining the power of government through a system of separa tion of powers. In this sense. decla red the independence of "the United States of America" in the Declaration of Ind ependence. clothing. one with a strong president. As the war ended. Political scientist S eymour Martin Lipset observes. who worked successfully with Congress and the state governors. Natio nalists worried that the new nation was too fragile to withstand an internationa l war." and dedicated strongly to republican principles. and was responsible for the surrender o f the second and third armies at Saratoga (1777) and Yorktown (1781). Nationalists most of them war veterans organized in every state and convinced Congress to call the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. General George Washington (1732 1799) proved an excellent organizer and administrator. As slave ry expanded in the South during the following decades.
Hamilton and W ashington presented the country in 1794 with the Jay Treaty that reestablished g ood relations with Britain. th e Constitution and the Bill of Rights). rituals (raising the Liberty Tree). and president of the Constitutional Convention beca me the first President of the United States under the new Constitution in 1789. During the first two decades after the Revolutionary War. By that date. the rate of manumissions declined sharply . Civil religion The American Revolution was the main source of the non-denominational American c ivil religion that shaped patriotism ever since. although som e had gradual emancipation schemes. Thomas Jeffe rson and James Madison led the opposition. and an internal slave trade became an important source of wealth for many plan ters and traders. and the vote rs aligned behind one party or the other. flags (the Betsey Ross flag). resulting in an increase in the proportion of free blacks in the Upper So uth from less than one percent in 1792 to more than 10 percent by 1810. Nathan Hale). It produced a Moses-like leader (George Washington). he extolled the benefits of federal government and importanc e of ethics and morality while warning against foreign alliances and the formati on of political parties. Inspired by revolutionary ideals of the equality of men and their lesser economic reliance on it. was the first serious test of the federal government. The Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. following the plans of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. when western settlers protested against a federal tax on liquor. as the insurgents melt ed away and the power of the national government was firmly established. sacred places (Val ley Forge). there were dramatic ch anges in the status of slavery among the states and an increase in the number of freed blacks.and states had reserved rights (which were not specified). setting up a uniform syste m of tariffs (taxes on imports) and other taxes to pay off the debt and provide a financial infrastructure. The treaty passed. creating the Bank of the United States to stabilize the financial system. To support his programs Hamilton created a new polit ical party the first in the world based on voters the Federalist Party. as well as devils (Benedict Arnold). prophets (Thomas Jefferson. but politics became very heated. Tom Paine) and martyrs (Boston Massacre. and . a total of 13. The Jeffersonians vehemently protested. assuming the deb ts of the states (the debt holders received federal bonds). thus setting up the First Party System . . commander-inchief of the Continental Army. Washington called out the state militia and personally led an army. After that date. The major accomplishments of the Washington Administration were creating a stron g national government that was recognized without question by all Americans. forming an opposition Republican Part y (usually called the Democratic-Republican Party by historians).5 percent of all blacks in the United States were free. sa cred holidays (July 4) and a holy scripture (The Declaration of Independence. Washington refused to serve more than two terms setting a precedent and in famous hi s farewell address. northern states abolished slavery. States of the Upper South made manumission e asier. Early national era (1789 1849) Main article: History of the United States (1789 1849) See also: First Party System and Second Party System Economic growth in America per capita income George Washington a renowned hero of the American Revolutionary War. with the demand for slaves on the rise with the development of the Deep South for cotton cultivation.
the nation entered an Era of Good F eelings. proclaimed the United States' opinion th at European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas. The Monroe Doctrine. The Americans g ained no territory but were cheered by a sense of victory in what they called a "second war of independence". With the c ollapse of the Federalists as a party. . The Monroe Doc trine was adopted in response to American and British fears over Russian and Fre nch expansion into the Western Hemisphere. and closed out the F irst Party System. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. which authorized the president to negotiate treaties that exchanged Native American tribal lands in the eastern states for lands west of the Mississippi River. However. This was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States. In response to multiple grievances. a Federalist. they fought the Army for years in the Seminole Wars. The Republicans also imposed tariffs designed to protect the infant industries that had been created when Britain was blockading the U. r estrictions on trade with France. the Chief Justice (1801 35). first enunciated in 1803 in Marbury v. and arming hostile Indians in Ohio and the wes tern territories. a military hero and President. President Madison and most Republicans realized it had been a mistake to let the Bank of the United States close down. The War of 1812 ended in a draw after bitter fighting that lasted until January 8. with far less partisanship than before (or after). with several thousand p eople dying en route. 1815. So they chartered the Second Bank of the United Stat es in 1816. He is known for the Louisiana Purchase.John Adams. The act resulted most notably in the Trail of Tears. especially the power to overturn acts of C ongress that violated the Constitution. This established Andrew Jackson . for its absence greatly hindere d the financing of the war.S. defined them. As strong opponents of the war. M adison. defeated Jefferson in the 1796 election. and prepare for a French invasion. Many of the Seminole Indians in Florida refused to mov e west. build up a large army with Hamilton at th e head. War loomed wi th France and the Federalists used the opportunity to try to silence the Republi cans with the Alien and Sedition Acts. a forced migration of several native tribes to the West. the Federalists became divid ed after Adams sent a successful peace mission to France that ended the Quasi-Wa r of 1798. Although the Constitu tion included a Supreme Court. as a proponent of the forcible removal of nativ e populations to the West. Settlers crossing the Plains of Nebraska In 1830. during the Battle of New Orleans. its functions were vague until John Marshall. The grievances included humiliating the Americans in the Chesapeake incident o f 1807. The war was a major loss for Native American tribe s in the Northwest and Southeast who had allied themselves with Britain and were defeated on the battlefield. settlers with vast potential for expansion west of the Mississippi River. the adoption of many Federalist principle s by the Republicans. the Congress declared war on Britain in 1812 . expressed in 1823. National euphoria after the victory at New Orleans ruined the prestige of the Federalists and they no longer played a significant role. and the systematic policy of President James Monroe in his two terms (1817 25) to downplay partisanship. continued British impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy. Territorial expansion Thomas Jefferson defeated Adams for the presidency in the 1800 election.S. in 1803. the Federalists held the Hartford Convention in 1814 that hinted at disunion. which ended the French presence fr om the western border of the United States and provided U.
while Frederick Douglass. 1846-48. within the same time period . and adjacent areas to the United States. cotton production in the U. an ex-slave. Th e U. resulting in a mini civil war called Bleeding K ansas. with the res idents given full citizenship. nearly eight t imes as many as the total slaves nationwide in 1790. The Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845. and insisted that slavery would never b e allowed to expand (and thus would slowly die out). which Mexico had warned meant war. using regulars and large numbers of volunteers. th ere were nearly four million slaves. They were tied to northern cities such as New York City by banking. forming the new Republican Party.After 1840 the growing abolitionist movement redefined itself as a crusade again st the sin of slave ownership. during that period. William Lloyd Ga rrison published the most influential of the many anti-slavery newspapers. with the Methodists and Baptists dividing into no rthern and southern denominations. began writing for that newspape r around 1840 and started his own abolitionist newspaper North Star in 1847. not a sin. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ced ed California. as in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beech er Stowe. only slaveholding presidents were re-el ected to second terms. Denmark Vesey (182 . For 50 of the 72 years between the election of George Washington and that of Abraham Lincoln. promoted by Senator Douglas in the name of "popular sovereignty" and democra cy. pulling over 100. It mobilized support (especially among religious women in the Northeast affected by the Second Great Awakening). Simultaneously gold was discovered. The L iberator. Pro and anti-forces rushed to Ka nsas to vote slavery up or down. held primarily in the South. southern states benefited by their increa sed apportionment in Congress due to the partial counting of slaves in their pop ulations. boomed from less than a thousand tons to nearly one million tons per year. the Compro mise included admission of California as a free state. shipping . The Confederacy: brown *territories in light shades The churches split on slavery. By 1860.S. Civil War era (1849 1865) Main article: History of the United States (1849 1865) The Union: blue (free). The great majority of anti-slavery elements rejected its moralism and held that slavery was an unfortunate social evil. The issue of slavery in the new territories was seemingly settled by the Comprom ise of 1850 brokered by Whig Henry Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas. as northerners supplied many goods to planters.S. Congregationali sts and Quakers included many abolitionists. The Compromise of 1820 was repealed in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska A ct. was divided as Whigs and anti-slavery elements opposed the war. It permitted settlers to decide on slavery in each territory. T he Catholic. The sore point was the Fu gitive Slave Act to make it easier for masters to reclaim runaway slaves. with a bolitionists used it to attack slavery. Antislavery forces rose in ang er and alarm. yellow (slave). Public sentiment in the U. easily won the Mexi can-American War. By the late 1850s the young Republican Party dominated nearly all norther n states and thus the electoral college. and manufacturing. army. and some particularly profited from the internal slave tra de. and allowed Do uglas to say he was neutral on the slavery issue. especially among women activists.000 men to northern California in a matter of months in the California Gold Rush. the Methodists.S. In addition. New Mexico. The southern slave societies had become wealthy based on their cotton and other commodity production. In the North. Episcopal and Lutheran denominations ignored the slavery issue. Slave rebellions occurred including by Gabriel Prosser (1800). a slaveholder served as president of th e United States and.
At the sam e time. wh ich in his view still existed intact despite the actions of the seceding states. They led southern states to establi sh tighter slave oversight as well as reducing rights of free blacks. suffered a humiliating defeat by Lee's smaller army at the Battle of Fredericks burg late in 1862. pro ducing strategic Union victories and destroying major Confederate operations. Lincoln made General Grant commander of all Un . Lincoln called on the states to send detachments totaling 75. which outraged northerners.S. Lee. 1861. July 1 3. but. Union forces under the command of General Ulysse s S. November 30. Virginia in his Peninsula Campaign and retreated after attacks from newly appointed Confederate General Robert E. Civil War Further information: American Civil War The Civil War began on April 12. Lee's army was badly beaten at the Battle of Gettysburg. m ilitary installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. 000 troops to recapture forts. Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major General John Alexander McClernand at the Battle of Antietam. General Ambrose Burnside. Stonewall J ackson. After Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election. on February 8. when Confederate forces attacked a U.[citati on needed] Lee invaded Pennsylvania in search of supplies and to cause war weari ness in the North. After reorganizing th e new Army of the Potomac. 1863. Grant gained control of the Mississippi River at the Battle of Vicksburg. 1863. while losing his top aide. just outside Washington. the Union was quite successful. In the western thea ter. Feeling confident in his army after defeating the Union at Second Bull Run. causing yet another change in commanders. and Nat Turner (1831) but they all failed. one of the wor st incidents of civil unrest in American history In the Eastern theater. and barely made it back to Vi rginia. proved to both the Union and Confederacy that the war was going to be much longer and bloodier tha n they had originally anticipated. things did not start well for the Union as the Confedera tes won at Manassas Junction (Bull Run). which became West Virginia. with major battles. southerners had a growing distrust of Yankees as abolitionists. such as Perryville. 1861. t hereby splitting the Confederacy. The next commander. McClellan failed to capture the Confederate capital o f Richmond. whi ch ended in a surprising Union defeat. Major General George B. In perhaps the turning point of the war. on April 15. Lee embarked on an invasion of the north that was stopped by McClellan at the bloody Battle of Antietam. Battle of Franklin. Despite this. more importantly. four of the five northernmost "sl ave states" did not secede and became known as the Border States. and "preserve the Union". McClellan was relieved from command for refus ing to pursue Lee's crippled army. The two armies had their first major clash at the First Battle of Bull Run. protect the capital. In response to the at tack. The war soon divided into two theaters: Eastern and Western. the Confed erate States of America. Irish anger at the draft led to the New York Draft Riots of 1863. But Lee pushed too hard and ignored the Union threat in the west.  The Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v.2). Along with the northwestern po rtion of Virginia. establishing a new government. Sandford took the Southern posit ion of making slavery legal everywhere. McClellan was put in charge of the Union armies. eleven Southern states seceded from the union between late 1860 and 1861. 1864 Simultaneously on July 4. Lee won again at th e Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863.
Wi th a compromise Hayes won the election. the federal government withdrew its troo ps from the South. at Appomattox Court House. Reconstruction ended after the disputed 1876 election between Republ ican candidate Rutherford B.S. the Overland Campaign forced Lee to retreat into the city of Petersburg where Grant launched his second major offensive. and brought about changes that would eventually help make t he country a united superpower. Based on 1860 census figures. Reconstruction and a rise in power (1865 1918) Main article: History of the United States (1865 1918) Reconstruction Further information: Reconstruction era of the United States Reconstruction took place for most of the decade following the Civil War. were military-governed and oft en corrupt. I ts legacy includes ending slavery in the United States. .S. the Fourteenth Amendment that guaranteed citizenship for all peop le born or naturalized within U. The last two years of the war was bloody for both sides. During the era. where they acted to suppress black voting and ran Republicans out of office. By 1874 other paramilitary groups . the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign in which he sieged Petersburg. with Grant launching a war of attrition against General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Hayes and Democratic candidate Samuel J. about 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war. the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) emerged around the late 18 60s as a white-supremacist organization opposed to black civil rights. and the Fifteenth Amendment that g ranted the vote for all men regardless of race. The first of these. which out lawed slavery. An 1883 Supreme Court decision nullified the Civil Ri ghts Act of 1875 and ended federal efforts to stop private acts of violence desi gned to suppress legal rights. and Southern Democrats soon re-entered the national political scene with more power than ever given the addition of freedmen counted fully as citizens. This war of at trition was divided into three main campaigns. Grant pursu ed and launched the final. During this era. econom ic and racial issues of the war decisively shaped the Reconstruction era. Petersburg surrendered. establishing the American Civil War as the deadliest war in American history. Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1870 and vigorous enforcement closed down the Kla n and classified the KKK as a terrorist group. The social. and strengthening the role of the federal government. After a near ten-month siege. including about 6% in the North and approximately 18% in the South. the "Reconstruction Amendments" were passed to expand civil rights fo r black Americans. southern stat es passed new constitutions and voter registration rules that effectively disfra nchised black voters. the Black Codes d enied blacks privileges readily available to whites. territory. Appomattox Campaign which resulted in Lee surrenderin g his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9. However. political. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. the situation persisted until after the mid-1960s Voting R ights Act and other civil rights legislation provided for enforcement of their r ights. contributing to Democrats' regaining political power in states across t he South during the 1870s.ion armies. restoring the Union. the d efense of Fort Gregg allowed Lee to move his army out of Petersburg. such as the White League and Red Shirts organized in numerous chapters in the Deep South. While the Civil Rights Act of 18 75 forbade discrimination in the service of public facilities. Other Confederate armies followed suit and the war ended. 1865. In response to Reconstruction. many regions of the southern U. which lasted through 1877. Tilden. Those amendments included the Thirteenth Amendment.
circa 1900. and Robert LaFollette on the Republican side. w heat and cotton farmers joined the Populist Party. bringing the federal income tax. Russell The latter half of the nineteenth century was marked by the United States' devel opment and settlement of the West. and the Sherman Antitrust Act. They have cost the lives of about 19. and at the national level as well. libraries and foundations. and railroads. and the lives of about 30. and the introduction of efficiency as a criterion for change. According to the U.S. which ended railroads' discriminat ion against small shippers. more than 22 million people migrated to the United States. which mandated a competitive examination for applicants for government jobs. along which Manhattan's Little Italy is centered. By 1890 American industrial production and per capita income exceeded those of a ll other world nations." Gilded Age and Progressivism Further information: Gilded Age and Progressive Era The "Gilded Age" was a term that Mark Twain used to describe the period of the l ate 19th century when there had been a dramatic expansion of American wealth and prosperity. and frequent Indian wars as settlers encroached on traditional Native American lands. prohibition. both bec ame leaders of philanthropy. medicine. forcing most tribes onto restricted rese rvations. and the failure to deal with increasingly imp ortant urban and industrial problems. Rockefeller in oil and Andrew Carnegie in steel. led to the dynamic Progressive Movement st arting in the 1890s. Charles Eva ns Hughes. Lea ding politicians from both parties. and better sch ools. Mulberry Street. universities. the progressives called for the modernization and reform of decrepit institutions. scandalous politics. Progressives imple mented anti-trust laws and regulated such industries of meat-packing. The workers' demand for control of their workplace led to the oftenviolent rise of the labor movement in the cities and mining camps. Women becam e especially involved in demands for woman suffrage. Other important legi slation included the Interstate Commerce Act. Lower East Si de.000 Indians. Four new constitutional amendments the Sixteenth through Nineteenth resu lted from progressive activism. giving away their fortunes to create the modern sys tem of hospitals. peak years of immigration. their most prominent leader was Jane Addams of Chicago. most notably Theodore Roosevelt. and in education. took up the cause of progressive reform. drugs. and William Jennings Br yan on the Democratic side. Reform of the Age included the Civil Service Act. including those killed in individual combats. which outlawed monopo lies in business. Almost 97% of residents of the 10 largest American cities of 190 0 were non-Hispanic whites.Western expansion and Indian wars Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (1869) at First Transcontinental Rai lroad. In response to heavy debts and decreasing farm prices. "The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 4 0 in number. Industrial le aders included John D. Gradually the US purchased the ir lands and extinguished their claims. Bureau of the Census (1894). An unprecedented wave of immigration from Europe served to both provide the labor for American industry a nd create diverse communities in previously undeveloped areas.000 white men. first by wagon trains and then aided by the c ompletion of the transcontinental railroad. by Andrew J. From 1880 to 1914 . the elimination of corruptio n in politics. and industry. Twain believed that this age was corrupted by such elements as land speculators. In every major city and state. direct election . women and child ren. Dissatisfaction on the part of the growing middle class with the corruption and inefficiency of politics as usual. and unethical business practices.
Anthony. T . the U. The Progressive Movement last ed through the 1920s. declaring neutrality but warning Germany that resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare against American ships would mean war. unde r close American tutelage. Puerto Rico. After defeating an insurrection by Filipino nationalists. At the Treaty of Paris peace conference the United States acquired the Philippines. Stanton. By 1908. and dramatically upgrade the public health facilities. Wilson refused to compromise w ith Senate Republicans over the issue of Congressional power to declare war. Americans lost interest in an empire. President William McKinley defended the acquisitio n. with no one of them allowed to take control o f China. World War I Main articles: American entry into World War I and United States home front duri ng World War I American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon As World War I raged in Europe from 1914. as one official called it. German y decided to take the risk and try to win by cutting off Britain. by summer 1918 American soldiers under Gen eral John J. President Woodrow Wilson took full con trol of foreign policy. William Jennings Bryan led his Democratic Party in opposition to control of the Philippines. how ever. the most active period was 1900 1918. the Fourteen Points. and turned their international atten tion to the Caribbean. Woman suffrage Further information: Women's suffrage in the United States Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. and increased trade with Japan and the rest of the Far East. Although the war itself was widely popular. The "splendid little war". prohibition. the peace terms proved controversial. and the Senate rejected the Treaty and the League.S. P resident Woodrow Wilson demanded Germany depose the Kaiser and accept his terms. and Guam. which he denounced as imperialism unbe coming to American democracy. American money. decla red war in April 1917. and the Declaration of Sentime nts demanding equal rights for women.000 a day. and woman suffrage. whose passage would become an impor tant goal of the Women's Liberation Movement half a century later. Imperialism Further information: American imperialism The United States emerged as a world economic and military power after 1890. and especially the building of the Panama Canal. food and munitions arrived quickly. while Germany was una ble to replace its losses. Many of the activists became politically a ware during the abolitionist movement. b ut troops had to be drafted. Wilson dominated the 1919 Paris Peace Conference but Germa ny was treated harshly by the Allies in the Treaty of Versailles (1919) as Wilso n put all his hopes in the new League of Nations. A key innovation was the Open Door Policy. Susan B. Cuba became an independent country. The result was Allied victory in November 1918. The women's rights campaign during "first -wave feminism" was led by Mott.of Senators. the Uni ted States engaged in a large-scale program to modernize the economy of the Phil ippines. involved a series of quick American victories on land and at sea. McKinley easily defeated Bryan in a rematch in the 1900 presiden tial election. among many others. and was riding high as the nation had returned to prosperity and felt triumph ant in the war. which began when Spain refused America n demands to reform its oppressive policies in Cuba. The women's suffrage movement began with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Pershing arrived at the rate of 10. The main episode was the Spanish American War. The cana l opened in 1914. trained. whereby the imperial powers were given equal access to Chinese business. organ ized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.
especia lly prohibition. The old anti-suff ragist argument that only men could fight a war. grew steadily in stature as an economic and mili tary world power. demonstrated that woman suffrage was a success. the U. The 1920s were also known as the Roaring Twenties.000 people to t he Spanish flu pandemic. which had grown sluggish. 1920.S. Nevertheless Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment in 1 919. most of the Western stat es had already given the women the right to vote in state and national elections . gaining experienced campaigners. due to the great economic prosperity during this . the Great Depression. sale. and the representatives from those states. Furthermore. NAWSA became the League of Women Voters and the National Woman's Party began lob bying for full equality and the Equal Rights Amendment which would pass Congress during the second wave of the women's movement in 1972. led by Carrie Chapman Catt. and were taken as political prisoners. and therefore only men deserve the right to vote. the United Sta tes chose to pursue unilateralism. and world peace. It became constitutional law on August 26. gaining rights in areas such as property and child custody. the KKK re-formed during that decade and gathered nearly 4. The main res istance came from the south. By the end of the 19th century a few western states had granted women full voti ng rights. ma ny of whom had worked for prohibition in the Women's Christian Temperance Union. while rural organizations mobilized women to suppor t Prohibition and vote for Republican Herbert Hoover. 1921 Following World War I.5 million members by 1924. Roaring Twenties.S. The main surge of women voting came in 1928.he movement reorganized after the Civil War. and Wilson urged Co ngress to pass a Constitutional amendment enfranchising women. the manufacture. began to reawaken. instead. the suffragettes were ordered released from prison. leading to a three-year Red Scare. because men could not do th at job. and the U. Paul split from the large National A merican Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In 1920. Protests became increasingly common as suffragette Alice Paul led pa rades through the capital and major cities. Across the world. In 1918 the U. Around 1912 the feminist movement. and World War II (1918 1945) Main article: History of the United States (1918 1945) Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in Chicago. lost 675. import and export of alcohol were prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment.S. when the big-city machines realized they needed the support of women to elect Al Smith. The Prohibition e nded in 1933. Prohibition encouraged illegal breweries and dealers t o make substantial amounts of money selling alcohol illegally. including the first woman Jeannette Rankin of Montana. putting an emphasis on its demands for equality and arguing that the corruption of American politics demanded purification by women. Additionally. where white leaders were worried about the threat o f black women voting. The aftershock of Ru ssia's October Revolution resulted in real fears of communism in the United Stat es. was refuted by the enthusiastic participation of tens of thou sands of American women on the home front in World War I. a failure. Suffragists were arre sted during their "Silent Sentinels" pickets at the White House. the first time such a tactic was used. Politicians responded t o the new electorate by emphasizing issues of special interest to women. which favored a more moderate approa ch and supported the Democratic Party and Woodrow Wilson. and formed the more militant National Woman's Party. if not isolationism. The United States Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versaill es imposed by its Allies on the defeated Central Powers. government passed the Immigration Act of 1924 restricting foreign immigration. after ratification by the 36th required state. though women had made significant legal victories. grat eful nations gave women the right to vote. Finally. child health.
Much of the focus in Washington was maximizing the economic outpu t of the nation. U. technological innovation. the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosp erity: farm prices and wages fell. Some programs that were a part of Roose velt's New Deal include the Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief program. a naval base in Hawaii. gave Roosevelt unusual influence over Congress in the "First Hundred Days" of his adm inistration. while new industries and industrial profits g rew. triggered a worldwide depression known as the Great Depression. Imperial Japan asserted dominance in East Asia and in the Paci fic. ind ustrial output. During th is time. The overall result was a dramatic increase in GDP. and the Economy Act. soldiers. and manufacturing output collapsed by one-third. cen tering on a mother of seven. which catalyzed American support to enter the war and seek revenge. The main contributions of the U. He used his leverage to win rapid passage of a series of measures t o create welfare programs and regulate the banking system.period. the Emergency Banking Act. and thus was also called the Jazz Age. 1929. legislation in the Neutrality Acts sought to avoid foreign conflicts. the Social Security Act. During most of the 1920s. The desperate economic situati on. World War II The Japanese hoped to cripple American naval power in the Pacific with the attac k on Pearl Harbor. stock market. leisure activities declined sharply. improvements in produ ctivity through better technology and management. food. and the move into the active l abor force of students. petroleum. along with many other economic fa ctors. the export o f vast quantities of supplies to the Allies and to American forces overseas. This was achieved by tens of millions of workers moving from low-productivity occupations to high efficiency jobs. The boom was fueled by an inflated stock market. housewives. Roosevelt promised "a new d eal for the American people". along with the substantial Democratic victories in the 1932 elections. unemployment soared from 3% in 1929 to 25% in 1933. whi le Britain and France attempted appeasement to avert another war in Europe. In 1932. 1941. Roosevelt positioned the U . in Nipomo. Democratic presidential nominee Franklin D. Further information: World War II and United States home front during World War II In the Depression years the United States remained focused on domestic concerns while democracy declined across the world and many countries fell under the cont rol of dictators. and the unemployed. Jazz became popular among the younger generation. This. however p olicy clashed with increasing anti-Nazi feelings following the German invasion o f Poland in September 1939 that started World War II. It was exhausting. Great Depression Further information: Great Depression Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California. and a rise in civilian consumption even as 40% of the GDP went to the war effort.S. and an i ncrease in hours worked.S. industr y and agriculture. retired people. Japan tried to neutralize America's powe r in the Pacific by attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7. and (especially 194445). a phrase that has endured as a label for his a dministration and its many domestic achievements. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy militarized to and threatened conquests. as the "Arsenal of Democracy" pledging full-scale financial and munitions su pport for the Allies but no soldiers. the United States experienced deflation. California. the end of unemployment. . March 1936.S. along with many other government efforts to end the Great Dep ression and reform the American economy. to the Allied war effort comprised money. which later led to the Sto ck Market Crash on October 29. age 32.
leaving Berlin to the Soviets as the Nazi regime formally capitulated in May 1945. Most durable goods became unavailable. Britain and the Soviet Union. The Allies--the U. forcing the empire's surrender in a matter of days and thus ending Wo rld War II. Bloodied at Okinawa. dom inated the war against Japan. A more significant Euro pean front was opened on D-Day. Over in the Pacific. and ga soline were tightly rationed. and drawi ng the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 1942). prepar ed to invade Japan's home islands when B-29's dropped two atomic bombs on Japane se cities. implemente d an island hopping strategy toward Tokyo. as the N azis hurriedly tried to kill the last remaining Jews. The western front stopped short. The final German effort failed. and stopped Japanese expansion in the Pacific in 1 942. the American Navy inflicted a decisiv e blow at Midway (June 1942). The Allies s aw Germany as the main threat.People tolerated the extra work because of patriotism.S.000 soldiers. and gave highest priority to Europe. as well as China. Italy. 1944. The wartime production boom led to full employment.S. There were .S. the pay. and Japan. The U.[77 ] The Allied pushed the Germans out of France. mobilization of the U. Nuclear weapons were never used after 1945. Research an d development took flight as well. Indeed. as both sides drew back from th e brink and a "long peace" characterized the Cold War years.S. labor shortages encouraged ind ustry to look for new sources of workers.S. However the fervor also inspired anti-Japanese sentiment. On the home front. establishing airfields for bombing ru ns against mainland Japan from the Mariana Islands and achieving hard-fought vic tories at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. and Americans saved a high portion of their incomes. Though the nation lost more than 400. American corpses sprawled on the beach of Tarawa. economy was managed by Roosevelt's W ar Production Board. clothing. and a s 1945 opened Allied armies in East and West were converging on Berlin.S. which responded by rem oving everyone of Japanese descent from the West Coast war zone. 1947 1991. in which American and Allied force s invaded Nazi-occupied France from Britain. the U. occupied Japan (and part of Germany). Participation in postwar foreign affairs marked the end of predominant American isolationism. Into the Jaws of Death: The Normandy landings began the Allied march toward Germ any from the west. June 6. In industrial areas housing was in short supply as people doubled up and lived in cramped quarters. The U. November 1943.. and the confide nce it was only "for the duration" and life would return to normal as soon as th e war was won. ending the war in Europe. Canada and other countries fought the Axis powers of Germany. best seen in the Manhattan Project. finding new roles for women and blacks . which led to renewed gr owth after the war instead of a return to depression. a secret effort to harness nuclear fission to produce highly destructive atomic bombs. sending Douglas M acArthur to restructure the Japanese economy and political system along American lines. but faced an unexpected counteratta ck at the Battle of the Bulge in December. the U. The awesome threat of nuclear weapons inspired both optimism and f ear. After losing to the Japanese Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines. the mainland prospered un touched by the devastation of war that inflicted a heavy toll on Europe and Asia . American ground forces assisted in the North Afric an Campaign that eventually concluded with the collapse of Mussolini's fascist g overnment in 1943. and meat. as Italy switched to the Allied side. Prices and wages were controll ed. wiping out this vestige of the Great Depression.
S. Following World War II. with inefficient centralized economies. GD P of $258 billion in 1948. and technological affairs. The Truman Doctrine of 1947 provided military and economic aid to Greec e and Turkey to counteract the threat of Communist expansion in the Balkans. Indeed. especially in Kor ea and Vietnam. military. thereby escalating the risk of warfare. Beginning in the 1950s. The U. In August 1949 the Soviets tested their first nuclear weapon. middle-class culture became obsessed with consumer goods. and toward increased international involvement. the United States replaced piecemeal financial aid programs with a compreh ensive Marshall Plan. the jailing of Martin Luther King . and removed trade barriers. rejecting the long-standing policy of no military a lliances in peacetime. the C uban missile crisis. The primary American goal of 1945 48 was to rescue Europe from the devastation of World War II and to contain the expansion of Communism. which pumped money into the economy of Western Europe. the first Earth satellite. participation in th e United Nations (UN). the United States. leaving the nation in profound shock. represented by the Sovie t Union. fell further an d further behind Western Europe in terms of economic development and prosperity. In 1948.S. the end of segregation. The Plan's $13 billion budget was in the context of a U. in which the two sides did not directly confront each other. Kennedy was elected as the first and t hus far only Roman Catholic President of the United States. Jr. regional wars in Korea and Vietnam. 1963. White Am ericans made up nearly 90% of the population in 1950. the threat of mutually assured destruction prevent ed both powers from going too far. while modernizing the managerial practices of businesse s and governments.S. and from that point on Eastern Europe. the United States became a global influence i n economic. Johnson (1963 69) in securing congressional passage of his Great Society pr ograms. The angst about the weakn esses of American education led to large-scale federal support for science educa tion and research. Senate on a bipartisan vote approved U. The Kennedy family bro ught a new life and vigor to the atmosphere of the White House. during the Birmingham campaign. In 1960. including civil rights. Medicare. In the decades after World War II. extension of w .. the Cold War prompted concerns about Communist influe nce. Within the United States. and was on top of $12 billion in American aid to Euro pe between the end of the war and the start of the Marshall Plan. Soviet head of state Joseph Stalin prevented his satellites from participating. cultural. won by the America ns as Apollo 11 landed astronauts on the moon in 1969. Climax of liberalism The climax of liberalism came in the mid-1960s with the success of President Lyn don B. which continues into the 21st century. began the Space Race. and resulted in proxy wars. Texas. The Cold War begins (1945 1964) Main article: History of the United States (1945 1964) President Kennedy's Civil Rights Address. Kennedy to his Cabinet as Attorney General. His time in offi ce was marked by such notable events as the acceleration of the United States' r ole in the Space Race. the charismatic politician John F.S. 1963. June 11. political. which marked a turn away from the traditional isolationis m of the U. the Bay of Pigs Invasion. formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alli ance. the United States emerged as one of the two dominant sup erpowers. on November 22. and the appointment of his brother Robert F. however. The unexpected leapfrogging of American technology by the Soviets in 1957 w ith Sputnik. In 1949. escalation of the American role in the Vietnam War. In response the Soviets formed the Warsaw Pact of communist states. Kennedy was assassinated in Dalla s.
Their agenda-much influenced by Keynesian economic theory-envisioned massive public expenditure t hat would speed economic growth. and keepers of the home. environmental activism. Board of Education an d Loving v. but especially in the South . and. At the same time . by 1968. Jr. In 1966 Friedan and others established the National Organization for Women. and educational programs. Nixon largely continued the New Deal and Great Society programs he in herited. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the strengthening of Black Power. Jr. mothers. The Femini ne Mystique. liberal intellectuals crafted a new vision for achieving economic an d social justice. and a series of programs designed to wipe out pov erty. It aimed to defend the free world. As recent historians have explained: "Gradually. Johnson was rewarded with an electoral landslide in 1964 against conservative Ba rry Goldwater. and no intention to fast and class passions or redistribute wealth or restructure existing institutions. For years African Americans would struggle with violence against them. Meanwhile. which launched the movement. had replaced the Civil Rights Movemen . conservative reaction would come with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. 1972. federal aid to education at all levels. Martin Luther King. Internationally it was strongly anti-Commu nist. Protests began. to encourage economic growth at home. was assassinated in 1968. and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. D. in the Opposition to the Vietnam War. 128 American cities suffered 164 riots. 22 June 1963. led to the M ontgomery Bus Boycott. The Women's Movement Further information: Second-wave feminism Gloria Steinem at a meeting of the Women's Action Alliance. to a ct for women as the NAACP did for African Americans. Washington. most notably King's widow.. the Civil Rights Act of 1964. a nd to ensure that the resulting plenty was fairly distributed. little disposition to revive new deal era crusades against concentrated eco nomic power. the Voting Rights Act of 196 5. health. But the Republicans bounced back in 1966 and elected Richard Nixo n in 1968. which broke the decades-long control of Congress by the Conservat ive coalition. and argued that women were just as able as men to do every type of job." Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.. who had won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to ac hieve equality of the races. who was also active. housing. however the decade would ultimately bring about positive strides to ward integration. and in the Women 's Liberation Movement.C. starting with the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan's best-seller. or NOW. thus providing the public resources to fund lar ger welfare. Following his death other s led the movement. which ended the Jim Crow laws that legalize d racial segregation between Whites and Blacks.elfare. but would achieve great steps towards equality with Supreme Court decisions. The activism of African American leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. The liberalism of the early 1960s contained no hint of radical ism. gained much media attention. was increasingly challenged by the growing Civil Rights movement. institutionalized racism across the United States. and the new Women's Liberation Movement grew in size and power. subsidies for the arts and human ities. Coretta Scott King. Jr. A new consciousness of the inequality of American women began sweeping the natio n. Over the first nine months of 1967. the American people completed a great migration from farms into the c ities and experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. a ssaulted American culture for its creation of the notion that women could only f ind fulfillment through their roles as wives. including Brown v. like her husband. Virginia. which explained how many housewives felt trapped and unfulfilled.
those equalizing pay. President Lyndon B. The Counterculture Revolution swept through the nation and much of the wester n world in the late sixties and early seventies. Friedan's Women's Strike for Equality (1970) was a nation-wide success. accepting women's equality.S. who turned the war ov er to the South Vietnamese forces and ended American combat roles. By the late 19 70s the economy suffered an energy crisis.'s main social revolution. clothing. ending pregnancy discrimination. The wa r had cost the lives of 58. is still a point of debate today.e. including those among women. the National Women's Political Caucus (NWP C) in the center. The OPEC oil embargo marked a long-term economic transition. em ployment opportunities. however (with NOW on the left. United States Navy F-4 Phantom II shadows a Soviet Tu-95 Bear D aircraft in the early 1970s Johnson was succeeded in 1969 by Republican Richard Nixon. Wade (1973). co-founding the NWPC. and more radical groups formed by younger women on the far lef t). and forced Nixon's resignation on August 9. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. failed to be r atified in 1982. Along with Friedan. He was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford. min orities and young people. and state ERAs established women's equal status under the law. and very high inflation coupled with high interest rates (the term stagflati . boycotts. parades. the Women's Action Alliance. The Counterculture Revolution and Cold War Détente (1964 1980) Main article: History of the United States (1964 1980) Amid the Cold War. who was subsequently helpless to pr event the conquest of South Vietnam when North Vietnam invaded in 1975. the Military Academies. The Movement was split into factions by political ideology early on. and editing the Movement's magazine. sometimes millions. The nation's conservative women. and requiring N ASA. Feminism and the environmental movement beca me political forces. Johnson's Great Society social pro grams and numerous rulings by the Warren Court added to the wide range of social reform during the 1960s and 1970s. involvin g Nixon's cover-up of his operatives break-in into the Democratic National Commi ttee headquarters at the Watergate office complex destroyed his political base. defeated the ERA by argui ng that it degraded the position of the housewife. deemed by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right in Ro e v. many federal laws (i.t as the U. dividing the already hostile en vironment but also bringing forth more liberated social views. Supreme Court rulings (i. Nixon manipulated the fierce dis trust between the Soviet Union and China to the advantage of the United States. Gloria Steinem was an important feminist leader. high unemployme nt.e. and made young women suscepti ble to the military draft. slow economic growth.000 American troops. ruling the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to women ). sent many aides to prison. Ms. the Women's Equi ty Action League (WEAL) on the right. However. those ending spousal abuse and marital rape). and social cus tom and consciousness began to change. state laws (i.e. as for the first ti me energy prices skyrocketed and American factories faced serious competition fr om foreign automobiles. and other organizations to admit women). he negotiated a peace treaty in 1973. secured the release of POWs and ended the draft. the United States entered the Vietnam War. and progress continued toward civil rights for all American s. credit. employment. led by activist Phyllis Schlafly. education. rallies. and pickets brought out thousands. electronics and consumer goods. passed by Congress in 1972 and favored by about seventy percent of the American public. The Watergate scandal. with only three more states needed to make it law. 1974. achieving détente (cooperation) with both parties. The controver sial issue of abortion. Marches. whose growing unpo pularity fed already existing social movements.
theoretic ally.2%. incurring a costly budget deficit. ending the 444-day hostage crisis. Following his election in 1992.S.S.  The end of the Cold War (1980 1991) Main article: History of the United States (1980 1991) Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate challenges Gorbachev to tear down the Berl in Wall in 1987. Gorbachev tried to save Communism in the Soviet Unio n first by ending the expensive arms race with America. Reagan introduced a complicated missile defense system known as the St rategic Defense Initiative (dubbed "Star Wars" by opponents) in which.S. On the world stage. embassy in Tehran and took 66 Americans hostage. and their summit conferences led to the signing of the Intermediate-R ange Nuclear Forces Treaty. Reagan's interventions against Grenada a nd Libya were popular in the U.on was coined). The United States emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower and continued to intervene in international affairs during the 1990s. banking and teleco mmunications. experienced a recession in 1982 bu t the negative indicators reversed. as the inflation rate decreased from 11% to 2%. The Reagan administration also provided covert funding and assistance to anti-Co mmunist resistance movements worldwide.. Reagan continued to downsize gove rnment taxation and regulation.5% to 7. shortly before the end of the Cold War Ronald Reagan produced a major realignment with his 1980 and 1984 landslide elec tions. Reagan met four times with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The bubble burst in 2000. The arms-for-hostages scandal led to the convictions o f such figures as Oliver North and John Poindexter. could shoot down missiles with laser systems in space. minutes after Carter's term in office ended. Jimmy Carter.8% in December 1982 to 7. Car ter lost the 1980 election to the Republican Ronald Reagan. With the hostage crisis and continuing stagflation. While economists agreed on the wisdom of deregulation. Though it was never fully developed or deployed.S. though his backing of the Contra rebels was m ired in controversy. Iranian students stormed the U. 1 981.5% in Novem ber 1984. Reagan's economic policies (dubbed "Reaganomics") and the implementation of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 lowered income taxes from 70% to 28% ov er the course of seven years. embassy in Iran were released. Carter bro kered the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.S. the remaining U. as in transportation. and the economic growth rate increased from 4.S. World superpower (1991 present) Main article: History of the United States (1991 present) The NASDAQ Composite index swelled with the dot-com bubble in the optimistic "Ne w Economy". then by shedding th e East European empire in 1989. many of t he New Deal era regulations were ended. President Bill Clinton oversa w one of the longest periods of economic expansion and unprecedented gains in se . Reagan ordered a massive buildup of the U. resulting in the Iran hostage crisis. including the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. the unemployment rate decreased from 10. the U. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. captives he ld at the U.S. the Soviets were genuinely concerned about the possible effects of the program and the research and technologie s of SDI paved the way for the anti-ballistic missile systems of today. military. On January 20. In 1979. Soviet Cold War. The U. running as someone who was not a part of the Washington political establishment. who ascended to powe r in 1985.S. was elected president in 1976. ending the U .
 Some of these anti-terrorism efforts. The U. the United States launched an invasion of Iraq. Despite some initial succ esses early in the invasion. While the death toll decreased. President Geor ge W. The controversial USA PATRIOT A ct increased government's power to monitor communications and removed legal rest rictions on information sharing between federal law enforcement and intelligence services. In 2003. a Republican. history. c arried Florida and the election.S. The reasons for the invasion cited by the Bush administration included the spreading of democracy. startin g a surge strategy using an additional 30. Obama began to decreas e troop levels in Iraq. Gore ended the recount with a 5 4 vote. He kept 50. which led to the collap se of the Iraqi government and the eventual capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hus sein.000 people.000 in Iraq to assist Iraqi forces. and work on counter-terrorism until December 2011. After he took office. the continued Iraq War fueled international protest s and gradually saw domestic support decline as many people began to question wh ether or not the invasion was worth the cost.[122 ] At the same time. Bush announced a "War on Terror" in response. the first African Ameri can President of the United States. the unpopularity of President Bush and the Iraq war. The vote in the decisive state of Florida was extremely close and prod uced a dramatic dispute over the counting of votes. with whom the U. particularly the U. go vernment of human rights violations. Supreme Court in Bu sh v. along with the 200 8 financial crisis. led to allegations toward the U.000 troops. to resign from Congress. led to the election of Barack Obama. Obama increased American involvement in Afghanistan. though later investigations found parts of the intelligence reports to be in accurate) and the liberation of the Iraqi people. The presidential election in 2000 between George W. The federal government established new domestic efforts to prevent future attacks. 20 01 attacks (9/11) in which al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four transcontinental ai rliners and intentionally crashed two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon killing 3. b ut was later acquitted by the Senate. a side effect of the digital revolution and new business opport unities created by the Internet. had long-standing tense relations. In 2007.S. and officially ended combat operations in the country on August 31. the political stability of Iraq remained in doubt. The United States and NATO l aunched an invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime that had harb ored al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden. after years of violence by the Iraqi insurgency. That meant Bush. and helped lay the seeds for political polarization to come. Clinton was impeach ed by the House of Representatives on charges of "high crimes and misdemeanors" for lying about a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. President Bush deployed more troops in a strat egy dubbed "the surge". after nearly a decade in hidin .S. The failure of impeachment and the Democra tic gains in the 1998 election forced House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In 2008. Once again the United States was attacked by terrorism with the September 11.curities values.S. 2010. 9/11 and the War on Terror The September 11 attacks led to the War on Terror. In May 2011. A cabinet-level agency called the Department of Homeland Security was created to lead and coordinate federal counter-terrorism activities. In 1998. then in the lead. when the wa r was declared formally over and the last troops left the country. He also worked with the Republican Congress to pass the first balanced federal budget in 30 years. t he elimination of weapons of mass destruction (a key demand of the UN as we ll. while proposing to begin w ithdrawing troops in July 2011.S. government's handling of detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay. help protect wi thdrawing forces. Bush and Al Gore was one of the closest in U.
S.5% unemployment rat economic inequality. the 8. the United States. their approval rating fell to an all time low of 11%. the role of corporate spending in election campaigns. The unemploymen t rate peaked at 10. President Obama sign ed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the econom y recover from the deepening recession. Shortly after taking office.S. In December 2007.1% in October. In the 2010 midterm elections. the recession offici ally ended and the U. and the "cash for clunkers" pr ogram which temporarily boosted new car sales. the international populist Occupy movement and the pro-democratic Arab Spring movem ent in the Middle East. The beginning of the 2010s saw the rise of various social and political movement s across the world. Congress enacted the Dodd Fran k Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. deficit spending. an automotive industry crisis. Some of these bills were controve rsial and ran into heated Republican opposition in Congress. the Dodd-Frank Wall Stre et Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Don't Ask. and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In June 2009.000 annually. soaring oil prices.S. debates continue over the economy. rising unemployment. and most of Europe. armed forces acting under Pres ident Obama's direct orders. putting owne rship temporarily in the hands of the government. which were signed into law by President Obama. involvement in Afghanistan. Don't Tell Repeal Act. is 2] of January 2012. and they also made some gains in the Senate. These included a bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. th e government took steps to rescue the auto industry and prevent future economic meltdowns. followed by a slow economic recovery. . The 111th Congress saw the passage of major legislation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by U.S. the financial cris in state government. financial crisis..S. health care reform. Starting the fo llowing month the federal government lent $245 billion to financial institutions through the Troubled Asset Relief Program  which was signed into law under the Bush administration. As e. such as the conservative Tea Party movement in the U.[12 8] The financial crisis hit a critical point in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers and other important financial institutions failed. a subprime mortgage crisis. Recent events Lehman Brothers (headquarters pictured) filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 a t the height of the U.g. In addition to the economic stimulus. which included a housing market crisis. entered the longest pos t World War II recession. economy began to expand once again. a bill that makes sweeping cha nges to the financial regulatory system.[14 and U.  Th e new divided Congress presided over a period of elevated gridlock and heated de bates over whether or not raise the debt ceiling and whether or not to extend ta x cuts for citizens making less than $250. the Republicans regained control of the House and installed John Boe hner as Speaker. As a result of grow ing public frustration with both parties in Congress.
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