美国历史 (英文版)



History of the United States

This article is part of

the U.S. History


Native Americans in the United States

Colonial America










Timeline · The United States is a country occupying part of the North American continent ranging from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean and including outlying areas as well. The first inhabitants of the area now claimed by the United States arrived at least 12,000 years ago, probably by crossing the Bering land bridge into Alaska. Relatively little is known of these early settlers compared to the Europeans who colonized the area after the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 149
2. Columbus' men were also the first known Old Worlders to land in the territory of the United States when they arrived in Puerto Rico the next year on their second voyage; the first European known to set foot in the continental U.S. was Juan Ponce de León, who arrived in Florida in 1513, though he may have been preceded by John Cabot in 149

Contents [hide]

1 Pre-Colonial America

2 Early European settlements

3 Colonial America (1493-1776)

4 Formation of the United States (1776-1789)

5 Westward Expansion (1789–1849)

6 Civil War Era (1849–1865)

7 Reconstruction and the Rise of Instrialization (1865–1918)

8 Post World War I and the Great Depression (1918–1940)

9 Homefront: World War II (1940-1945)

10 Cold War Beginnings and the Civil Rights Movement (1945–1964)

11 Cold War (1964–1980)

12 End of the Cold War (1980–1988)

13 Modern Era (1988–present)

14 See also

15 Literature

16 External links


Pre-Colonial America

Main articles: Native Americans in the United States and Pre-Columbian

Monk's Mound in Cahokia, Illinois, at 100 feet high is the largest man-made earthen mound in North America, was part of a city which had thousands of people around 1050 ADArcheologists believe that the present-day United States was first populated by people migrating from Asia via the Bering land bridge sometime between 50,000 and 11,000 years ago.[1] These people became the indigenous people who inhabited the Americas prior to the arrival of European explorers in the 1400s and who are now called Native Americans.

Many cultures thrived in the Americas before Europeans came, including the Puebloans (Anasazi) in the southwest and the Adena Culture in the east. Several such societies and communities, over time, intensified this practice of established settlements, and grew to support sizeable and concentrated populations. Agriculture was independently developed in what is now the eastern United States as early as 2500 BC, based on the domestication of indigenous sunflower, squash and goosefoot.[2] Eventually, the Mexican crops of maize and legumes were adapted to the shorter summers of eastern North America and replaced the indigenous crops.


Early European settlements

One recorded European exploration of the Americas was by Christopher Columbus in 1492, sailing on behalf of the King and Queen of Spain. He did not reach mainland America until his fourth voyage, almost 20 years after his first voyage. He first landed on Haiti, where the Arawaks, whom he mistook for people of the Indies (thus, "Indians") greeted him and his fleet by swimming out to their ships with gifts and food. Columbus, after island-hopping for several months, heard nothing of gold, his main drive for the voyage. However, he realized that a great market of slavery could be made with these populations. By 1550, there were only 500 Arawaks left; about 250,000 Indians on Haiti had died from murder or suicide.

After a period of exploration by various European countries, Dutch, Spanish, English, French, Swedish, and Portuguese settlements were established. Columbus was the first European to set foot in U.S. territory when he came to Puerto Rico in 1493; the oldest remaining European settlements in the U.S. are San Juan, Puerto Rico, founded 1521, and on the mainland, St. Augustine in what is now the state of Florida, founded in 156

In the 15th century, Spaniards and other Europeans brought horses to the Americas. The introction of the horse had a profound impact on Native American culture in the Great Plains of North America. The horse offered revolutionary speed and efficiency, both while hunting and in battle. The horse also became a sort of currency for native tribes and nations. Horses became a pivotal part in solidifying social hierarchy, expanding trade areas with neighboring tribes, and creating a stereotype both to their advantage and against it.


Colonial America (1493-1776)

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.

Territorial expansion of the United States, omitting Oregon and other claims.Main article: Colonial America

In 1607, the Virginia Company of London established the Jamestown Settlement on the James River, both named after King James IColonial America was defined by ongoing battles between mainly English-speaking colonists and Natives, by a severe labor shortage that gave birth to forms of unfree labor such as slavery and indentured servitude, and by a British policy of benign neglect (salutary neglect) that permitted the development of an American spirit distinct from that of its European founders.

The first truly successful English colony was established in 1607, on the James River near the Chesapeake Bay. The Virginia Company of London financed the purchase of three ships to transport settlers to the Virginia colony. The names of the three ships were The Susan Constant, Godspeed and the Discovery. The leader of the group was Captain Christopher Newport. Also on board was John Smith, an explorer, soldier, and writer. King James decided to give the Virginia Company a charter for the settlement. The settlers sought a location which had fresh water, deep water to dock their ships, and was easy to defend. The settlement was named Jamestown after the king. England also wanted to find gold, silver and other riches in North America.

As increasing numbers of settlers arrived in Virginia, many conflicts arose between the Native Americans and the colonists. The colonists increasingly appropriated land to farm and grow tobacco. This was the beginning of a general trend towards displacing Native Americans westward to make room for settlers. [1]

One example of conflict between Native Americans and English settlers was the 1622 Powhatan uprising in Virginia, in which Indians had killed hundreds of English settlers. The largest conflict between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century was King Philip's War in New England. [2]

Differences of language, religion and culture also contributed to the friction between the two groups. At the base of the friction was an assumption by the English colonists of racial, cultural and moral superiority. [3]

[Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-167
6. By Joyce E. Chaplin . (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001] [John Wood Sweet. Bodies Politic - Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830. Johns Hopkins University Press]

New England was founded by two separate groups of religious dissenters. A second group of colonists called the Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 162
9. The Middle Colonies, consisting of the present-day states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, were characterized by a large degree of diversity. The first attempted English settlement south of Virginia was the Province of Carolina, with Georgia Colony the last of the Thirteen Colonies established in 173

Spain claimed or controlled a large part of what is now the central and western United States as part of New Spain which included Spanish Florida, California and Texas. In 1682, French explorer Sieur de La Salle explored the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, and claimed the entire territory as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, which became New France. The Louisiana Territory, under Spanish control since the end of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), remained off-limits to settlement from the 13 American colonies. The colonies of East Florida, West Florida, Grenada, and Quebec, added to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris (1763), were part of British North America open to travel, and ring the revolutionay war many Loyalists fled to them.

These are historic regions of the United States, meaning regions that were legal entities in the past, or which the average modern American would no longer immediately recognize as a regional description.


Formation of the United States (1776-1789)

Washington's crossing of the Delaware, one of America's first successes in the Revolutionary war

The presentation of the Declaration of IndependenceMain article: History of the United States (1776-1789)

During this period the United States won its independence from Great Britain with help from France in the American War of Independence, or the American Revolutionary War as it is called in Great-Britain, and the thirteen former colonies established themselves as the United States of America under the Articles of Confederation.

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, still meeting in Philadelphia declared the independence of the United States in a remarkable document, the Declaration of Independence, primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson. Although it is said that Morocco was the first country in the World to officialy recognize the newly sovereign United States in 1777 it was the Dutch Governor Johannes de Graaff which fired a 11 gun salute when a US war ship called Andrew Doria flying the flag of the new United States sailed into Gallows Bay of St. Eustatius, part of the Netherlands Antilles, on November 16 1776, and the Netherlands became the first foreign country (de facto) to recognize the United States. The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty. Signed by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, it has been in continuous effect since 178

The Boston Tea Party in 1773, often seen as the event which started the American RevolutionThe United States celebrates its founding date as July 4, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress—representing thirteen British colonies—adopted the Declaration of Independence that rejected British authority in favor of self-determination. The structure of the government was profoundly changed on March 4, 1789, when the states replaced the Articles of Confederation with the United States Constitution. The new government reflected a radical break from the normative governmental structures of the time, favoring representative, elective government with a weak executive, rather than the existing monarchial structures common within the western traditions of the time. The system borrowed heavily from enlightenment age ideas and classical western philosophy, in that a primacy was placed upon indivial liberty and upon constraining the power of government through division of powers and a system of checks and balances.

The colonists' victory at Saratoga led the French into an open alliance with the United States. In 1781, a combined American and French Army, acting with the support of a French fleet, captured a large British army, led by General Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Virginia (see Siege of Yorktown). The surrender of General Cornwallis ended serious British efforts to find a military solution to their American problem.

A series of attempts to organize a movement to outline and press reforms culminated in the Congress calling the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


US growth maps

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1775 · 1790 · 1800 · 1810 · 1820 · 1830 · 1840 · 1850 · 1860 · 1870 · 1880 · 1900 · 1920



Westward Expansion (1789–1849)

Main article: History of the United States (1789–1849)

During this period, the United States government was established by its first president, George Washington, and the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and various Indian Wars expanded and consolidated the land expanse of the United States--while largely displacing the indigenous population.

Economic growth in America per capita incomeGeorge Washington, a renowned hero of the American Revolutionary War, commander and chief of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention, became the first President of the United States under the new U.S. Constitution. The Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, when settlers in the Monongahela Valley of western Pennsylvania protested against a federal tax on liquor and distilled drinks, was the first serious test of the federal government.

The Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, gave Western farmers use of the important Mississippi River waterway, removed the French presence from the western border of the United States, and provided U.S. settlers with vast potential for expansion. In response to continued British impressment of American sailors into the British Navy Madison had the Twelfth United States Congress— led by Southern and Western Jeffersonians — declare war on Britain in 181
2. The United States and Britain came to a draw in the War of 1812, after bitter fighting that lasted until January 8, 181
5. The Treaty of Ghent, officially ending the war, essentially resulted in the maintenance of the 'status quo ante bellum'; but, crucially for the U.S., saw the end of the British alliance with the Native Americans.

The Monroe Doctrine, expressed in 1823, proclaimed the United States' opinion that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas; this was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States.

In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the president to negotiate treaties that exchanged Indian tribal lands in the eastern states for lands west of the Mississippi River. This established Andrew Jackson, a military hero and president, as a cunning tyrant in regards to native populations. This Act resulted in the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes dying en route to the West, the Creek's violent opposition and eventual defeat and the Cherokee Nation taking up farming and "civilized behavior." The Cherokees, under Jackson's presidency, were eventually pushed from their land; even after success with agriculture, trade, and the creation of the first North American Indian written language. The Indian Removal Act also directly caused the ceding of Spanish Florida and subsequently led to the many Seminole Wars.

US territorial growth, 1810-1920Mexico refused to accept the annexation of Texas in 1845, and war broke out in 184
6. The U.S., using regulars and large numbers of volunteers, defeated Mexico, which was badly led, short on resources, and was plagued by a divided command. Public sentiment in the States was also divided, as Whigs and anti-slavery forces opposed the war. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded California, New Mexico and adjacent areas to the United States. In 1850, the issue of slavery in the new territories was settled by the Compromise of 1850 brokered by Whig Henry Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas.


Civil War Era (1849–1865)

The Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle and turning point of the American Civil WarMain article: History of the United States (1849–1865)

This period of United States history saw the breakdown of the ability of white Americans of the North and South to reconcile fundamental differences in their approach to government, economics, society and African American slavery. Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the South seceded to form the Confederate States of America, the Civil War followed, with the ultimate defeat of the South.

In 1854, the proposed Kansas-Nebraska Act abrogated the Missouri Compromise by providing that each new state of the Union would decide its stance on slavery. After the election of Abraham Lincoln, eleven Southern states seceded from the union between late 1860 and 1861, establishing a rebel government, the Confederate States of America on February 9, 186

Blue the Union; Red the ConfederacyThe Civil War began when Confederate General Pierre Beauregard opened fire upon Fort Sumter. They fired because Fort Sumter was in a confederate state. Along with the northwestern portion of Virginia, four of the five northernmost "slave states" did not secede, and became known as the Border States. Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North when General Robert E. Lee led 55,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River into Maryland. The Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17 1862, was the bloodiest single day in American history. At the beginning of 1864, Lincoln made General Ulysses S. Grant commander of all Union armies. Sherman marched from Chattanooga to Atlanta, defeating Confederate Generals Joseph E. Johnston and John B. Hood. Sherman's army laid waste to about 20% of the farms in Georgia in his celebrated "March to the Sea", and reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Savannah in December 186
4. Lee finally surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House.


Reconstruction and the Rise of Instrialization (1865–1918)

General Custer's last stand in the Battle of the Little BighornMain article: History of the United States (1865–1918)

After its civil war, America experienced an accelerated rate of instrialization, mainly in the northern states. However, Reconstruction and its failure left the Southern whites in a position of firm control over its black population, denying them their Civil Rights and keeping them in a state of economic, social and political servitude. Since the late 1800s, the United States has been formally grouped amongst the Great Powers, and has also become a dominant economic force.

U.S. Federal government policy, since the James Monroe administration, had been to move the indigenous population beyond the reach of the white frontier into a series of Indian Reservations. In 1876, the last serious Sioux war erupted, when the Dakota gold rush penetrated the Black Hills.

Ellis island in 1902, the main immigration port for immigrants entering the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.An unprecedented wave of immigration to the United States served both to provide the labor for American instry and to create diverse communities in previously undeveloped areas. Native American tribes were generally forced onto small reservations as white farmers and ranchers took over their lands. Abusive instrial practices led to the often violent rise of the labor movement in the United States.

The United States began its rise to international power in this period with substantial population and instrial growth domestically, and a number of military ventures abroad, including the Spanish-American War, which began when the United States blamed the sinking of the USS Maine (ACR-1) on Spain without any real evidence.

This period was capped by the 1917 entry of the United States into World War I.