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The Origins of the United States of America


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The Origins of the United States of America

  1. 1. NEXT SLIDE
  2. 2. INDEX* The first European Settlements* The thirteen Original Colonies* Independence* Expansion NEXT SLIDE
  3. 3. THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTSIn 1492, Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus,under contract to the Spanish crown, reachedseveral Caribbean islands, making first contactwith the indigenous people. However, the firstsuccessful English settlements were the VirginiaColony in Jamestown in 1607 and the PilgrimsPlymouth Colony in 1620. The 1628 chartering ofthe Massachusetts Bay Colony resulted in a waveof migration; by 1634, New England had beensettled by some 10,000 Puritans. Between the late1610s and the American Revolution, about 50,000convicts were shipped to Britains Americancolonies. Beginning in 1614, the Dutch settledalong the lower Hudson River, including NewAmsterdam on Manhattan Island. NEXT SLIDE
  4. 4. THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES The Thirteen Colonies were the colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia). They revolted in the American Revolution, starting in 1775, and in 1776 declared their independence from the British Empire and formed a new nation, the United States of America. The colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Each colony developed its own system of self government. The white Americans were mostly independent farmers, who owned their own land and voted for their local and provincial government. NEXT SLIDE
  5. 5. INDEPENDENCE (I)Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionaryperiod of the 1760s and early 1770s led to the American Revolutionary War, foughtfrom 1775 to 1781. On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress, convening inPhiladelphia, established a Continental Army under the command of GeorgeWashington. Proclaiming that "all men are created equal" and endowed with"certain unalienable Rights", the Congress adopted the Declaration ofIndependence, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1776. That date is nowcelebrated annually as Americas Independence Day. In 1777, the Articles ofConfederation established a weak confederal government that operated until 1789. NEXT SLIDE
  6. 6. INDEPENDENCE (II)After the British defeat by American forces assisted by theFrench and Spanish, Great Britain recognized theindependence of the United States and the statessovereignty over American territory west to the MississippiRiver. Those wishing to establish a strong federalgovernment with powers of taxation organized aconstitutional convention in 1787. The United StatesConstitution was ratified in 1788, and the new republicsfirst Senate, House of Representatives, and president—George Washington—took office in 1789. The Bill of Rights,forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms andguaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in1791.Attitudes toward slavery were shifting; a clause in theConstitution protected the transatlantic slave trade onlyuntil 1808. The Northern states abolished slavery between1780 and 1804, leaving the slave states of the South asdefenders of the "peculiar institution". The Second GreatAwakening, beginning about 1800, made evangelicalism aforce behind various social reform movements, includingabolitionism. NEXT SLIDE
  7. 7. EXPANSIONAmericans eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of Indian Wars.The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory under President ThomasJefferson in 1803 almost doubled the nations size. The War of 1812, declaredagainst Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S.nationalism. A series of U.S. military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede itand other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. The Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplifiedthe Indian removal policy that stripped the native peoples of their land. TheUnited States annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845, amid a period when theconcept of Manifest Destiny was becoming popular. The 1846 Oregon Treaty withBritain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. The U.S. victoryin the Mexican-American War resulted in the 1848 cession of California and muchof the present-day American Southwest. The California Gold Rush of 1848–49further spurred western migration. Over a half-century, up to 40 million Americanbison, or buffalo, were slaughtered for skins and meat and to ease the railwaysspread. The loss of the buffalo, a primary resource for the plains Indians, was anexistential blow to many native cultures. NEXT SLIDE
  8. 8. THE END(click on the flag to get more info)