1. Discovery and settlement In the Last Ice Age the level of the sea water lowed, and people from Central Asia crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Five hundred years ago Indians in North America lived in scattered villages. Indians joined to protect themselves to common enemies. They founded the Iroquois leage and the Algonquin leage, later known as the Leage of the five Nations. They made only the simplest tools. There were no cities ando no white men. White men in Europe did not even know that America was here. Then in the year 1492 Christopher Columbus, a sea captains discovered it by accident.
He was employed by the king and Queen of Spain. The spanish rulers wanted their businessmen to share in the rich trade with India. But Italians and Arabs kept everyone else away form the regular trade routes. He sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and found islands called these the Indies thinking he was in the India. A man called Leif Erikson discovered America before Columbus and he tried to stablish a settlement called Newfoundland, but he failed. They were the Age of Discoveries (XV cent,), but there were a period of exploration after discovery (XVI c. ), and then a process of colonization (XVII c. ).
Soon spaniards began to explore the New World. Cortez conquered the rich Aztec Indians in Mexico, Ponce de Leon looking for the Fountain of Youth, Panfilo de Narvaez found out gold but there were only five survivors in the expedition. Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, the queen of England at that time allowed Humphrey Gilbert and Walter Raleigh to stablish settlements in America. In the first expedition Gilbert died, and when Raleigh tried again he wasn’t succesful. One of the expeditions of Raleigh was a mistery because disappeared all the members. The first english colony was called Virginia as the Virgin Queen.
But was in the kingdom of James I, cousin of Elizabeth. He chartered two comercial companies to stablish settlements in America. They were loking for silver and gold, wanted to claim America for Enlgand and hoped to convert Indians to Christianity. Plymouth Company ( stablished in the North of North America) Virginia Company of London (South of North America- Delaway Bay) In 1607 the Virginia Company organized an expedition to stablish a settlement called Jamestown. But there were no gold, not profitable. In 1612 they introduced tobacco plantations in order to increase production.
The settlers did not always agree with the taxes, They wanted a voice in these affairs. So they set up a local lawmaking called the House of Burgesses. At that time English church was divided in Protestants and Catholics. In England the Christian church became Protestant by order of the king. Some people called puritans thought that the church was not Protestant enough. In 1620 some puritans wanted to separate the English church and decided to stablished a settlement in America. These people were called Pilgrims or separatis puritans. They sailed to Plymouth in a ship called the Mayflower.
It supposed to land near Virginia but finally anchored off the coast of Massachussetts. Their colony was called Plymouth. Ten years later other puritans formed a new company, the Massachussetts Bay Company in 1630. They founded a settlement called Boston. One man, Roger Williams, was forced to leave Boston. He walked to Rhode Island and began a new colony, Providence. In 1634 the colony of Maryland was settled by Lord Baltimore as a colony for catholic people. The colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1681. The people who lived there qere quakers. They rejected any kind of authority.
They were pacifists. There were a lot of German people settled in Pennsylvania. William Penn stablished a colony because king had a good relationship with William’s father. At first, the colony was names Sylvania but the ikin added Penn in William’s father honor. New York, part of this colony now New Jersey, was begun by Dutch. Delaware was founded by a company of Sweden in 1638. Connecticut was founded by Thomas Hooker. Carolina was founded by Charles II to a group of friends and supporters.
But they gave back the colony to the king and he decided to divide Carolina in two (North and South Carolina). French had colonies in North America, extended on the west of british colonies,New France and Louisianna were founded as very big colonies, but there were less people living there. Georgia founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe. Conquered by charity for poor people to a new opportunity in the New World. Henry Hudson explored the area of the Hudson River. In the area of Manhattan in 1619 the dutch stablished a settlement and called it New Netherland and New Amsterdam the proper settlement. Propietary colonies: they could chose the propietor of the colony and collect taxes.
They had a governor who were appointed by the king. Each governor appointed a council. But in every colony there was an assembly of representative selected by the colonist to vote on local laws. 2. Development When people moved to the colonies was mostly because they had problems in Europe (religion, political or economic). The American colonist were British subjects, owed allegiance to the king of England. The laws were for England first and for the colonies second. It was because of these laws that the colonist said Parliament had no right to interfere with colonial affairs.
England tried to control all trade with her colonies. British merchants paid low prices for American produce, but they sold it for high prices. The British did not want industry in America to compete with her own industry. South > agriculture plantation (sugar, tobacco) North > farms, sea activities (fishing, trade) Middle colonies > farms Frontier > subsistence agrivulture In 1664 the English won a war and took over the Dutch colonies in America. Whern William of Orange became king, several wars between France and Englad took place. France controlled what is now Cnada and the Missisippi River valley.
This French settlements were close to the British colonies. From 1755 to 1763 is known in America as the French and Indian War. It began when the french moved into western Pennsylvania. The governor of Virginia send troops commanded by George Washington to oppose them. But the English were beated by the french joined to the indians. French wanted to unite all of the colonies for defense agains the English, but in 1763 the indians and the English defeated the french and the war ended. The french lost all their colonies that became british colonies. 3. Revolution and Independence England now had a big empire in America.
But the wars against France had been costly. And new territories would be expensive to govern. England began to collect more taxes on American trade in order to pay for British officials and soldiers in America. The colonist wanted the right to say how many would be raised and spent. The congress agreed that colonist should pay only those taxes that they voted for themselves: ”no taxation without representation”. The colonies did not have representatives in English Parliament. In 1773 the English let the East India Tea Company ship directly to America and sell it there cheaply.
American claimed that it would take the tea away form american merchants, and it would be americans pay a tax on tea. Some of them dumped the tea into the water. Natural rights > freedom, fraternity and equality. The Age of Reason Separation of powers > justice, legislative, ejecutive. American must do something. In 1774 the colonies sent representative to a meeting in Philadephia. This was known as the First Continental Congress. It stated that all of the colonies opposed the Intolerable Acts. It urged to organize local militia and start military training. The thirteen delegates of the colonies united against the British.
The thirteen colonies: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland. In 1775 the Second Continental Congress met in Philadephia and took charge of the war. They chose George Washingotn as commander of the colonial army. This congress was the United States goverment during the war period. In June 1776 it was proposed in Congress that these United Colonies are free and independent states. The Declaration of Independence was published on July 4. Was drawn up by a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson.
All men are born with an equal right to life, liberty and the porsuit of happiness. 1st period (1776-1779) > Battles North most importants: Battle of Saratoga (1777) was the first big american victory. Thanks to this victory Benjamin Franklin persuade the French to help the colonies against the British. 2nd period (1779-1781) > Most important battles in the South: Battle of Yorktown (1781). The british surrended, last battle. Americans and french defeated English. The war of Independence was over. Peace negotiation 1782-83 recognized the independence. 4. Confederation adn Constitution The americans had to organize new goverments.
Upper house State goverment Each state had Lower house State constitution It was a league of separate and independent states. A Confederation. The members ofthe Second Congress knew there should be a legal goverment. The Articles of Confederation were accepted it in 1781. Was the origine of the Federal Goverment. A congress under the power of the articles. The federal goverment was like the Second Continental Congress. Members of Congress were appointed by state assemblies. Each state had only one vote in Congress, and two thirds of the states had to agree before a new law could be passed.
But Congress could not levy taxes, had to ask states to contribute Each state had its own taxes, trade and problems. For all this weaknesses the goverment under the Articles of Confederation made one decision. When the war was over, the English refused to by and produce for Americans. They had to find new ways of making money. Conditions improved gradually. It was proposed that a convention of delegates met in Philadephia in 1787 to change Articles of Confederation and made a new form of goverment strong enough to defend American interest abroad, pay off the debts, protect property rights.
It would be a govermentwith three branches. The new state goverments were made more democratic. The new state goverments were based in the idea of separation of powers. There would be a congress to make laws, an executive, a president, to enforce this laws and a system of courts to interpret the laws. President Senate (represent the states). Each state assembly choose two senators. (Main representer > Congress of UE) House of Representatives (larger states had more representatives) The president would be chosen by the Electoral College.
Judges were tu be appointed by the president and aproved by the Senate. The president is elected every four years. Senate members are gradually changing, and every six years the change is completed. Representatives of the House of Representatives are elected every two years. This goverment had more power than the old one. The first president of the United States was George Washington. He chose Thomas Jefferson as his secretary of state. There were two groups Federalist and anti-federalist. The federalist party defended merchants interets, and republican party founded by Thomas J.
Was the origine of democratic. In the election of 18000 the Federalist were defeated. Thomas Jefferson was elected new president of the United States. 5. The West and the War of 1812 After the war of Independence many americans moved west. Pioneer families had settled in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. In 1799 Napoleon made Spain turn over the entire Louisianna back to France. France control all trade at the Missisippi. But France and England go to war again and Napoleon sell Louisianna to the United States for 15 millions.
In 1812 Louisianna was admitted to the Union. They bought Florida to Spain too. In 15 years the number of states had doubled. They started to settle in California which was in the part of Mexico. Texas was once part of Spanish colony of Mexico too. Then Mexico became independent and in 1822 allowed Stephen Austin, an american, to found colony in Texas. But Mexico feared that Americans in Texas were becoming too powerful. Mexico forbided settlements in Texas and americans rebelled in 1835 and defeated the Mexican army and became independent.
After the war slavery was ended in the North. In the South slaves were legal. Many northerners wanted to see slavery stopped. There was a tension between the South and the North. In 1836 Arkansas was admitted and in 1837 Michigan. In 1845 Texas became part of the United States. Mexico was defeated by the americans and gave up California and Texas. They gave the United States the area that is now Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming. 19th century -Occupation of the West -Industralization -Democratization -Tension between North and South.