A Brief History Of America (part 1 Of 2)

A Brief History Of America (part 1 Of 2)
As one of the world’s youngest nations, the United States has a relatively brief historical timeline. But few can argue that in its 250 years of existence the US has been involved in many of the major geopolitical events that have shaped our modern era. And while its role as the world’s superpower may be on the wane, it still influences everything from politics to fashion across the globe.

The United States of America was born out of the need for a handful of European and English pioneers to govern themselves. After years under the rules of England’s King George III, which increasingly controlled and taxed the colonies, the independent-minded colonists began to organise. A few early acts of rebellion like the Boston Tea Party led to a crackdown by English soldiers. This, in turn, angered the colonists to the point of war.

The result was the American Revolutionary War, which saw the English defeated and a new nation born under the supervision of patriots like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Basing their new society on the right for personal freedoms and liberty for all regardless of beliefs or status, the Founding Fathers laid the groundwork for today’s America – a land of opportunity and personal freedom.

From day one, members of the newly formed government were at odds with each other about how best to run the country. This resulted in the unique form of democratic government we see today, where the legislation, the Congress and the president are also kept under control by a series of checks and balances. This is also why the American Congress is so frustrating to its citizens and rarely seems to get anything accomplished.

The first major internal conflict to face the United States was the issue of slavery. Imported African slaves were the ones who produced all the goods that kept the American economic engine running in the early 1800s. Cotton and tobacco plantations and other crops were mainly located in the South where the concept of slavery was accepted.

In the north, however, the people took a more socially conscious position and felt that slavery was (rightly) cruel and unjust. The issue reached a boiling point when President Abraham Lincoln issued a decree outlawing slavery. The South refused to acknowledge this, resulting in the brutal American Civil War that began in 1861 when the southern states seceded from the Union.

The South eventually lost the long, bloody struggle, leading slowly to the society America enjoys today where race, gender and religion don’t factor into the equality of a person. In the 1920s, the Great Depression that followed the collapse of Wall Street nearly ruined the young nation. But a decade later, and thanks, in part, to a world war, America began to rebound.