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téma * The history of USA
Vydáno dne 28. 06. 2004 | přečteno: 2860x

The first known inhabitants of this area, who are now called The Native Americans or Indians, crossed the ering Strait about 35 000 years ago and spread through out the whole continent. They were living mostly from agriculture, hunting, picking fruits and herbs, and fishing. Although we know that the Vikings established a colony somewhere along the North American east coast at the beginning of the 11th century, we have no proof about their presence on USA territory.

North America didn't have any sources of gold that would attract the main world powers, so its colonisation is of a quite later date. It also enabled smaller countries to establish their owns colonies here. They profited mainly from the fur trade and newly discovered plants like corn, tobacco or potatoes. The first documented European settlement is from 1565. It was Spain that colonised the area of Florida, Texas, Mexico, and California. France colonised the central part up to the Mississippi river (called Louisiana). The Netherlands established the colony New Amsterdam. Sweden built Fort Christina. England had difficulties at first but at the end succeeded in establishing Jamestown in Virginia (1607). Many British settlers were Puritans, who came to the New World to gain religious freedom. The area of their settlement was called New England and its centre was Boston. While Virginia settlers grew tobacco, New Englanders concentrated on trade. More and more colonies were established in the 17th century, southern plantations could no longer obtain an adequate supply of English workers and so they decided to introduce slavery to America. Southern plantations soon became relied on the labour of slaves. In the year 1773 colonists in Boston threw British tea worth more then 10 000 pounds to the see. This act is called the Boston Tea Party. Thirteen American colonies united and decided to revolt against the British rule. War broke out in 1775. The British army was far more powerful but the situation changed after France decided to help the revolting colonies. On July the 4th, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson and declared the independence of the USA as well as the principles of American society. USA army led by George Washington finally forced the British army to surrender at Yorktown in 1781. In the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, Britain accepted the independence of the USA. Constitution of the United States was written in 1787 and ratified one year later. The first amendment was added in 1791. It was The Bill of Rights. George Washington became the first President. After the war with the France, the USA decided that it wouldnt have any political ties with other nations. A country characterised by a decentralised economy, minimal government and maximum freedom of action and enterprise for everybody. In 1803, the territory of Louisiana was purchased from the French. During the Napoleon wars British ships were controlling most of the Atlantic Ocean and prevented American ports from exporting and importing goods. As a response in 1812 the USA declared war upon Britain. They were quite successful in Canada but the British naval blockade of the East Coast hit the American trade badly. Peace was signed in 1814 and re-established the pre-war status quo. In 1819 Florida was bought from Spain. Three years later President James Monroe announced the Monroe Doctrine. No colonies or European intervention in the New World were tolerated. There were two major political parties. In 1846 Oregon territory joined the USA and the war with Mexico broke out. The main issue was Texas. The USA won. Peace was signed in 1848 and the southern border of the USA moved to the river Rio Grande. When the Republican president candidate Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860, South Carolina and one year later 10 other southern countries broke away from the USA and created the independent Confederate States of America. David Jefferson was elected as their president, and they formed a new Government in Montgomery. The Confederation started war and had successes at first but soon was unable to withstand the industrial power of the Union. In 1862 President Lincoln announced the emancipation of slaves. In 1865 the Confederation General Lee surrendered to the Union General U. S. Grant and that was the end of the Confederation. In the times of World War I, Woodrow Wilson tried to protect American trade interests and took on the role of international negotiator. For almost 3 years, he kept the United States out of the war. But after Germany sank several American ships, it was no longer possible just to profit from selling goods to the fighting countries. On April 2nd, 1917, The Congress declared war on the Central Powers. American soldiers in France helped the Allies to win the war and so America took part as a victorious country in the negotiations in Versailles. President Wilson was the one to design the Fourteen Points which guided the conference in Paris. They included principles of public-checked diplomacy, freedom on the seas, reductions in armaments and de-colonisation of empires. Other points concerned self determination of the European nations, and also a suggestion to found a League of Nations. In Paris all of the points were accepted, however in the United States, the Senate rejected the treaty (mainly due to the aversion to membership in the League of Nations) on the grounds of traditional American unilateralism, which already started with George Washington. In the 20's, the American economy was prospering more than any time before. In 1919, the l8th Amendment prohibited the production, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages and so the whole period became known as the Prohibition. However, on the Black Friday in 1929, the stock market in New York crashed. Crisis came and soon about one quarter of all workers were unemployed. In 1933 F. D. Roosevelt was elected as the new president. During the First Hundred Days he passes many laws, which had to rebuild the USA economy and provide the necessary social support to all citizens. When the S. W. W. broke out, Roosevelt tried to keep USA out of it once again. But after he had to cut off trades with Japan and allowed Britain to borrow weapons from the USA, Japan launched an air raid on Pearl Harbor. It was extremely successful and destroyed most of USA Pacific fleet. It took a long time before the USA were able to stop the Japanese advance at The Battle of Midway and counter-attack. While they were advancing towards Japan they joined Britain in the operation Overlord. After Germany was defeated, the US president Truman decided to use the newly developed nuclear bomb against the resisting Japan. Cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were perished before Japan finally surrendered. After the S. W. W., the Marshall Plan was introduced for the reconstruction of Europe. It was rejected by the states where the Soviet Union gained major influence. NATO was founded and when the Soviet Union decided to join this organisation, it was rejected. The Cold War between NATO and the Warsaw Pact began. The United States soldiers represented a major part of the UNO forces in the Korean War (1950-1953) on the side of South Korea against North Korean and Chinese troops. President Eisenhower concentrated on the Middle East. John Fitzgerald Kennedy refused to withdraw from West Berlin in 1961. The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 was a reaction to the installation of Soviet nuclear weapons on the island. Kennedy thought this too dangerous and responded with a naval quarantine. The threat of a nuclear holocaust was averted when Krushchev agreed to ship the missiles back to the Soviet Union in exchange for an American promise never to attack Cuba and respect the revolutionary government led by Castro. Kennedy was assassinated 1963 in Dallas. In the Vietnam War (1961-1973) American troops fought in the South Vietnam against the Vietcong partisans (supported by Northern Vietnam). The USA were unable to win this war, although they caused heavy casualties to Vietcong. There were massive protests against the war in the USA and finally American Troops had to be withdrawn. In 1975 South Vietnam lost and new united Vietnam was created. In 1974 the famous Watergate scandal occurred and President Richard Nixon had to resign from his office. The following president, George Bush, had to handle the Iraq invasion to Kuwait in 1991. Saddam Hussains forces were defeated during the operation Desert Storm. In the election in 1992 the democratic President Bill Clinton was elected. He had to face the civil war in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, and even more famous sexgate with Monica Lewinska. Todays president of the USA is George Bush JR.

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