Otázka: The USA in wars
Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 and met the Native Americans (Indians) there. Settlement by Europeans was slow, and at first only Spanish explorers showed any interest.
The first English colony was founded in Virginia in 1607. In November 1620, the small ship Mayflower brought a group of English Puritans, who had left England to avoid persecution after their conflict with King James I and his Church, to Massachusetts. They are known as the Pilgrim Fathers. They landed near present-day Boston, at a place which they called Plymouth. Half of them died of starvation or epidemics during the first winter. Those who survived celebrated their first harvest with a feast of thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Day -thefourth Thursday in November). Within the next few years, the Pilgrim Fathers were followed by thousands of other settlers: English, Dutch, Irish, and French. This region comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, is called New England.
In the 18th century, there were thirteen colonies along the Atlantic coast, which were under British rule. West of these was French territory extending to the Rocky Mountains in the west, to Louisiana in the south, and reaching northward into present-day Canada. This territory was called New France. Part of it was bought by the US in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase.
There were wars between the two rivals the British and the French -which lasted for many years and cost Britain great sums of money. The British government continually raised the taxes on the colonies, but ultimately it caused rebellion. In 1773, North Americans, dressed as Indians, emptied chests of British tea into the waters of Boston harbor. This “Boston Tea Party” marked the beginning of the War of Independence (1775-1783). The colonists wished to rule the country by themselves. On July 4, 1776, the representatives of the original 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, which established the United States of America. Britain recognized the United States in 1783. In 1788, the American Constitution was adopted, and the following year George Washington was elected the
President of the United States of The 19th century was a turning t in the flow of migration: more than ten million new settlers arrived from Europe, the majority being English, Irish, Scottish and Germans. Nearly all of them settled in the North, where industry was developing rapidly. To these people, the agricultural South with its slave system was like a foreign country. They supported abolition, which the Southern planters did not want to hear about because their prosperity
depended on the hard work of slaves. (About half a million slaves from Africa were brought to America during the 17th and 18th centuries.) This disagreement on the slavery question led to the Civil War between the agricultural South and the industrial North, which started in 1861 and finished in 1865 and resulted in a victory for the North. In 1863, President Lincoln gave the slaves freedom by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
In the 20th century, immigration continued and reached its peak in the year 1907. In the second half of the century, the largest number of immigrants came from Latin America, especially Mexico, and Asia, mainly from the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, and China. World War II brought many Jewish refugees. America has become the “melting pot” of nations.
In 1945, the United States was the strongest country in the world. Its money and atomic bombs became dangerous for the Soviet Union, trying to convert the world to communism. The “Cold War” between the two countries began. The most important events of this war were the birth of NATO in 1949 (North Atlantic Treaty Organization -an alliance of Western Europe, the United States and Canada against the Soviet Union and its satellite states), the Korean War (1950-1953), testing new nuclear weapons, the space race, the Berlin Wall built in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the Vietnam War (1965-|973). The “Cold War” ended only in 1989, with the collapse of communism.