Timeline of America (Background)

This is background information for The USA 1945-1975: Land of Freedom?

Timeline from 1600s to 1945

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  • Created on: 05-07-10 19:37
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Timeline of America (Background)
Date Event
1600s-1776 First settlement to British colonies The first British settlers arrived in America in the 17th
century. Many of the early settlers were Puritans
escaping from religious persecution in Europe, while
others sought a new political freedom away from the
monarchy and aristocracy of Britain and Europe. By
1776 the early settlements had grown into 13
well-established British colonies, part of the growing
British empire.
1776 Declaration of Independence Britain's colonial subjects were increasingly unhappy
Revolution with the way they were being treated by the British
War Empire, and in 1776 their unhappiness turned into
revolution. The Declaration of Independence set forth
a powerful justification of why America should be a
free and independent country, complete with powerful
rhetoric such as `All men are created equal'
1787 Constitution: creating a new America's Declaration of Independence caused a war
country and political system with Britain which lasted from 1776 to 1783. By
1787 America's founding fathers had written and
approved their constitution which set out the basis of
law for the new country and the form of the new
government. No longer did the power belong to a king,
now power belonged to the people and the Constitution
protected the people's power.
1800s-1890s Westward Expansion: building a Part of the Americans' frustration with their colonial
new nation status was because they were prevented from pushing
the frontier westward into new territory. From the
earliest days of the new country America explored
westwards, opening up new land, and settlers followed
them; creating farms and towns on the plains and
prairies of the new country. Unfortunately it was not
an empty country, and the more America expanded,
the harsher its treatment of its native peoples, with
America's Indians dispossessed and almost
exterminated in a series of brute wars. This was the
truth of the Cowboy and Indian tales beloved of
From first Slavery: America's guilty secret As America expanded westward, so did its guilty
settlement up and ticking time-bomb secret of slavery. As cotton became a lucrative cash
to 1865 crop, creating huge profits for cotton planters and
farmers in the South, so did slavery expand and it
became the foundation for the `cotton kingdom' of the
Old South. Fortunes were made, grand plantation
homes housed a new form of Southern aristocrat,
while enslaved men, women and children lived,
worked and died in the cotton fields, creating the
wealth that sustained this `Southern Civilisation'
without any hope of their own freedom.
1861-1865 American Civil War: the blood Slavery was always going to be the fault-line that
sacrifice that ended slavery exposed the fragile foundation of America's
democracy. The promises of equality written into the
Declaration of Independence were exposed as lies, the
promise of democracy was betrayed as new states were
forced to accept slavery despite the wishes of many
Americans and eventually the slave problem exploded
into Civil War as the North went to war with the slave
South to keep America together. Fiver years of brutal
war ended in the defeat of the South in 1865 and with
it, the end of Slavery.

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Reconstruction: a promise of With the end of slavery the North had to restore the
equality betrayed South to its proper place in America, and bring real
freedom to the former slaves. For a brief short period
former slaves were able to vote, black Americans were
elected to political office and former plantations were
broken up and land was given to the slaves who had
worked it.…read more


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