United States Summary History | Brief Summary of USA

United States

HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA: The United States was inhabited by semi-nomadic Indians at the time Christopher Columbus arrived in America in the late 15th century.

United States

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the territory was colonized by Europeans (Spanish, French, British, Swedish and Dutch).

John Cabot explores the northern coast of Delaware in 1497; Ponce de Leon, Florida in 1512; and Hernando de Soto, the Mississippi in 1541.

In 1607, John Smith landed on the coast of Virginia and founded Jamestown, the first permanent British settlement in the New World.

In 1619, black slaves from Africa began to arrive to work in the British colonies. The following year, English Puritans founded Plymouth.

Between 1630 and 1640, a great migration of British settlers populated Massachusetts and Connecticut.

British troops took over the province of New Holland (from the Dutch) in 1664. The region was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673, but fell back into British hands the following year. It is then, when he is baptized in New York.

Before Independence, the United States was made up of thirteen colonies controlled by the metropolis: England.

Within the historical context of the 18th century, the English used these colonies to obtain profits and mineral and vegetable resources not available in Europe.

The metropolitan exploitation was also very large, in relation to the taxes and fees charged by the North American colonists.

The Thirteen Colonies

The English colonization process in North America began in the 17th century. The result was the formation of thirteen colonies, resulting in the United States.

The colony received two types of colonization with marked differences:

Northern Colonies

Region colonized by European Protestants, mainly English, who fled religious persecution.

They arrived in North America with the aim of transforming the region into a prosperous place for their families to live. Also called New England, the region suffered a settlement colonization with the following characteristics:

free labor, a trade-based economy, smallholdings and production for consumption in the domestic market.

Southern Colonies

Colonies such as Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia suffered colonization from exploitation.

They were explored by England and had to follow the Colonial Covenant. They are based on large estates, slave labour, production for export to the metropolis and monoculture.

War of the Seven Years

It all started with the war of seven years. This war occurred between England and France between 1756 and 1763. It was a war for possession of territories in North America and England won.

But despite England being the winner the cost was extremely high as the war expenses were impossible to bear and they entered an economic crisis.

However, the metropolis decided to charge these battle costs to the settlers who lived mainly in the northern colonies.

With the increase in metropolitan taxes and charges, settlers protested and demonstrated against England.

Causes of American Independence

The main trigger was that after the 7-year war, where the English fought the French for control of the colonies in America, which England won, this war was very costly for the English and they entered an economic crisis.

The solution to the crises was to tax the thirteen colonies and raise other taxes to mitigate this crisis, something that the settlers did not agree with, as they considered abusive.

Taxes they imposed:

The Sugar Act (settlers alone could buy sugar from the English Antilles), passed in 1764, established new tariffs on the lot of imported product.

The Law of the Seal (every product that circulated in the colony should have a seal sold by the English (documents, books, newspapers, cards, etc.)), approved in 1765.

The Tea Act of 1773 with new taxes on glass, paper and paint made the crisis break out.

It was what finally caused the settlers to rise up in demonstrations.

The thirteen colonies said that there is no taxation without representation because they wanted to have power in politics and participate in decisions so that they could agree to pay taxes. To what England refused.

In 1770 and before the tea law was passed, the Boston massacre took place, an episode that ended with the death of five North American demonstrators, British soldiers approached and fired on them.

U.S. Independence Process

The English Parliament decided to increase the rates and rights of the Crown in America, to pay the expenses for the cost of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763).

This conflict occurred between the English and French over possession of the lands west of the thirteen English colonies.

Further steps were taken. George Grenville, the British prime minister, placed a military force of 10,000 men in the colonies, carrying an expenditure of 350,000 dollars. One-third of that amount would be raised with the passage of new laws.

England resolved to increase various taxes and duties, as well as create new laws that undermine the freedom of Americans.

The Law of the Seal and Law of Sugar later also imposed the law of Tea.

With the new laws and taxes the crisis broke out.

In 1770 there was the Boston massacre, an episode that ended with the death of five American demonstrators, British soldiers approached and fired on them.

After this a period of calm was experienced as the English lowered some taxes.

But in 1773 when they imposed the new law known as the Tea Law, in December, several settlers dumped into the sea all the cargo of tea from the Company of the Indies ships that were anchored in the port of Boston. The episode was known as the Boston Tea Party.

In 1774, in retaliation for the Boston demonstration. The British government declared that the intolerable acts, including the prohibition of the port of Boston to pay compensation for the destroyed tea.

Outraged by the intolerable acts, settler representatives gathered at the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in September 1774.

First Philadelphia Congress

The northern settlers decided to promote, in 1774, a congress to take action against everything that was happening. This congress was not separatist in character, as it was only intended to return to the previous situation.

They wanted an end to the restrictive measures imposed by the metropolis and greater participation in the political life of the colony.

However, the English King George III did not accept the proposals of the Congress, on the contrary, he adopted more controlling and restrictive measures, such as the Intolerable Laws.

One of these laws, known as the Aquartelamiento Law, said that every American settler was required to provide housing, food and transportation for English soldiers.

The Intolerable Laws generated much revolt in the colony, directly influencing the process of independence.

In 1776 the settlers met again at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia and declared war on England.

Second Philadelphia Congress

In 1776, the settlers met in the second congress with the major objective of conquering independence.

During the Congress, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. But England did not accept the independence of its colonies and declared war.

The War of Independence, which occurred between 1776 and 1783, was defeated by the United States with the support of France and Spain.

George Washington, a renowned military man, was appointed as commander in chief of the US forces.

In the middle of the war, Thomas Jefferson was in charge of drafting the Declaration of Independence of the United States July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was a person especially recognized for his intellectual quality there would also be other people who made corrections on the draft of the declaration of independence, attorney John Adams and scientist Benjamin Franklin these three characters are key if we add to George Washington we are before the four most well-known founding fathers this statement conferred unity and formal determination to the war of the 13 colonies.

In their struggle for independence, the settlers had the military help of Spain, Holland and France.

The armed conflict ended only in 1783, when defeated England signed the Treaty of Paris, recognizing the independence of the United States.
Constitution of the United States

In 1787, to ensure order throughout the country, representatives of each state met in Philadelphia for a convention to present a draft constitution.

Discussed and voted on, the North American Constitution was enacted in the same year, but is only binding on all states in 1789.

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was ready with strong illuminating characteristics of the Enlightenment movement.

It guaranteed private property (the interest of the bourgeoisie), maintained slavery, opted for the system of a federal republic and defended the rights and individual guarantees of citizens.

Representatives of the now independent territories met at the Philadelphia convention in 1787.

In the 1789 elections, Washington was elected the first president of the United States, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson became the second and third presidents.

The Constitutional Charter, in force until today, determined that the American State would be a presidential federal republic. The three independent executives, legislative and judicial branches could be established.

After independence from the USA

The United States and its independence had great political significance, as they were able to create the first free nation on that continent.

  • In 1783, the United States had its independence recognized by England.
  • They adopted a republican and federalist political system.

The Constitution of the United States was ready in 1787. He had strong Enlightenment characteristics. It guaranteed private property (in the interest of the bourgeoisie), maintained slavery and defended the individual rights and guarantees of the American citizen.

Characters of Independence

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and youngest scientist Franklin participated in the American independence process.
Consequences of U.S. Independence

In 1787 the first constitution in history was initiated, which was supported by three branches of government: legislative, judicial and executive.

The American War of Independence was the first liberal revolution in history.

The independence of the USA was the example on the international scene of the first decolonization, for example:

After 7 years the French revolution broke out, it was given as an impulse for the independence of the 13 colonies and thanks to the impulses of the Enlightenment.

The process of independence of Latin America at the hands of José de San Martin and Simón Bolívar, occurred as a result of this.


The end of the war also marks the end of the temporary alliance with the USSR to fight Hitler. Then the Cold War begins.

Washington and Moscow consolidate the division of the world into two spheres of influence and strengthen, each one, their military power. In 1950, the U.S. sent troops to Korea to contain communist expansion.

Internally, the country adopts McCarthyism, a series of political measures to uncover and disable those suspected of sympathizing with communism or anti-government ideas.

With the election of Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960, the government increased its defense spending while showing great concern for civil rights.

Washington supports the thwarted invasion of Bay of Pigs by anti-Castro forces in Cuba (1961), and sends military advisers to South Vietnam to help in the fight against the Communist forces.


After the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, the country began the military escalation in Vietnam. U.S. troops intervene in the Dominican Republic’s 1965 civil war.

Republican Richard Nixon, elected in 1966, withdrew troops from Vietnam (1973) and promoted rapprochement with China and the Soviet Union.

Nixon resigned in 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal. His successor, Gerald Ford, continued to pursue the policy of détente with the USSR and signed the Salt 1 Treaty in 1976, which would limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

With Democrat Jimmy Carter (1977-1960), inflation and unemployment are on the rise, and the U.S. is experiencing fiasco in its foreign policy, with a spate of allies like Iran’s Shah in 1979.

The Republican Ronald Reagan, elected in 1960, favors the domination of the financial sector over the productive sector, uses for the first time in his country clear neo-liberal criteria and hardens the relationship with the USSR. Washington supports the anti-Sandinista guerrillas of Nicaragua (the’Contras’).


ABOUT THE USSR: Reagan is re-elected in 1984. In his second term, the United States re-approaches the USSR when Mikhail Gorbachev ascends to the Kremlin. In 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev sign a first agreement for the destruction of medium-range nuclear weapons.

Reagan’s successor, the Republican George Bush (father), elected in 1988, continues with the policy of approaching the USSR, a country that was dissolved in 1991 when the communist regime ended.

In 1991, the United States led a military coalition of 26 countries to expel Iraqi invading forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

In 1992, the new president, Democrat Buí Clinton, is favored by a period of economic recovery. His government approves a tax package and achieves NAFTA approval with Canada and Mexico.


While successfully sponsoring the agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in Oslo in September 1993, Clinton failed to intervene in Somalia at the end of that year.

1996, Clinton is re-elected. In 1997, the financial crisis that began in the nations of Southeast Asia, due to short-term over-indebtedness and the crisis of sales in multiple production sectors, did not affect the United States.


The second Clinton administration seeks to advance the implementation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

In 1998, the country reacted to the attacks on its diplomatic offices in Kenya and Tanzania by launching simultaneous attacks in Sudan and Afghanistan.

December 1998, the United States and the United Kingdom launched the largest military offensive against Iraq since the Gulf War.

The 1999, the United States promoted the accession of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic (former Soviet allies) to NATO.


A NEW FRONT: NORCOREA – In October 2002, talks between Under Secretary of State for Asia James Kelly and President Kim Jong-il’s right-hand man Kang Suk-ju are unveiled.

In them, the Korean official accepts that his country has a nuclear weapons programme, although he does not yet have a large number of them.

The statements are used as a pretext to include the issue of North Korea in the fight against terrorism.


The U.S. government is asking the Pentagon, in early March 2002, for a contingency plan to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, including China, Russia and Iraq.

The sending of U.S. military advisers to Georgia and other countries of the former USSR in February will create unrest in Moscow, where they say the United States is gradually closing in on Russia.


In August 2002, some 5,000 Taliban, who had surrendered to Northern Alliance forces in the city of Kunduz, were reportedly taken to 27 containers on 29 November 2001 and suffocated to death.


On Tuesday, November 5, the winner in the election is President George W. Bush. The Republican Party gains a majority of 51 seats in the Senate, against 49 Democrats and consolidates its control in the House of Representatives, with 227 Republicans against 205 Democrats.


On February 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia disintegrates as it enters the atmosphere, shortly before landing in Houston, Texas, on a space mission. The accident claims the lives of its seven crew members.


In mid-February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill banning human donation for reproductive or therapeutic purposes.


NASA announces, on May 27, 2003, the launch of the second Mars Explorer, which aims to search for traces of water and life on the planet.

The Opportunity vehicle is in charge of this task and, together with the’Spirit’ vehicle, arrives on Mars in January 2004.


In July 2003, the trial of six prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay base in Cuba by the US Special Military Courts generated all manner of criticism from the European Union and human rights organisations.

There are considered to be vices of bias. Although the Guantánamo base is required to be closed, it is not perceived in the near future that this will happen.


At the end of September, a scandal erupts over the denouncement of the name of a CIA agent, apparently revealed by members of the White House itself.

The matter has its roots in February 2002, when Joseph Wilson, then Ambassador to Gabon, travelled to Niger to see if it was true that the Iraqi government was trying to buy uranium from the African country.

Ambassador Wilson made it clear that the information was unfounded. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adds that the documents on which it was based were false.

Despite this, and opposition from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), President Bush included the false information in his January 2003 speech.

In November, the United States announced the opening of negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement with Latin America.

The trade authorities of the 34 countries of the continent, except Cuba, meet.


On November 17, Arnold Schwaizenegger swears as the 38th governor of California in a candIl ceremony before 7,500 guests and 600 journalists.


A U.S. court authorizes, for the first time in the country, gay marriage. The landmark decision is made in Massachusetts in a case involving seven gay and lesbian couples.

In announcing a ruling in November, the State Supreme Court ruled that it could not deny the protections, benefits and obligations that a civil marriage afforded to two individuals of the same sex who wished to marry.


At 4:00 p.m. on August 1, 2003, a power outage hit New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, and Toledo in the United States. and Ottawa and Toronto in Canada.

The gigantic blackout is caused by a failure of an Ohio generator, which triggers a chain reaction.

During the hours following the massive blackout, which forces hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to sleep on the streets, the U.S. and Canadian authorities blame each other for the failure.


A law in force since December 2003 could revive the arms race for nuclear arsenals. This is the Energy and Water Development Budget Act of 2004, which includes provisions for the research and development of two new nuclear weapons.

Although these are not as powerful and would be used in specific cases, analysts fear a global arms escalation.


On July 6, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid, the name of the building that will replace the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It is expected to be the tallest construction in the world.


The decision of the United States to occupy Iraq in April 2003, without the authorization of the UN, causes global economic instability, which is manifested in the uncertainty of investors and in the distrust of consumers and entrepreneurs.

However, in May 2004, the President of the United States declared victory in Iraq and announced the end of combat operations.

“On January 13, 2005, the White House announced the end of the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

At the same time, President George W. Bush says he does not regret the invasion, but acknowledges that”something went wrong with the information.

In late February, the Senate confirmed Condoleezza Rice as the new secretary of state for the Bush administration. Rice, 50, becomes the first black woman to hold such a prestigious position.


The U.S. Supreme Court decides in March, with five votes in favor and four against, to abolish the death penalty for those who committed crimes before they turned 18. The measure covers 70 young killers who were about to be executed.

The decision is made because the measure violates Article 8 of the Constitution, which prohibits “unusual cruelty and punishment”.


At 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb in human history was detonated in the desert of New Mexico, United States; July 16, 2005, 60 years of this event were commemorated.

The test was the first atomic bomb to be built”successfully” as a result of work by a team of scientists led by J. Robert Oppenheimer.

When asked what he thought, after the bomb was detonated, Oppenheimer chose to quote his favorite Hindu poem, The Bhagavad-Gita:”I became death, the destroyer of the worlds.

Less than a month later, the result of Oppenheimer and his team’s scientific work fell twice on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leaving a black legacy that is still remembered today.

In 1939, at the time of World War II, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr warned the United States that German scientists were working to separate the atom, that is, taking the first steps to build an atomic bomb.

The implications of this event prompted then US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create the so-called Manhattan Project, whose main objective was clear: to build a weapon of mass destruction before the Germans.


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld does not rule out using military force to resolve the nuclear conflict with Iran. In the middle of the same month, a United Nations report calls for the closure of the Guantánamo prison in Cuba, after acts of torture against the detainees were reported.


President George W. Bush appoints Air Force General Michael Hayden, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


On June 2, the BBC television network released a video showing the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. soldiers.


The United States plans to assist a transitional government in Cuba that will promote elections after Fidel Castro dies.

He says he will give US$ 80 million to the dissidents. In mid-July, Bush assures that all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and other military facilities will be protected under the Geneva Convention.


U.S. justice sentences former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling to 24 years in prison for the power company’s bankruptcy: The scandal was uncovered in the second half of 2001.

The firm was broken by its own managers, who invented a number of companies to hide around US$ 1 billion in losses from the parent company and were able to keep the value of the shares high on the stock exchange.

The bankruptcy also led to the disappearance of the prestigious auditing firm Arthur Andersen, an accomplice in the scam, and the conviction was announced on 23 October 2006 by the Houston Court.


President George W. Bush admits that the conflict with Iraq resembles that with Vietnam, as in both confrontations the U.S. has suffered serious military defeats.

He insists, however, that US troops will not leave the Arab country. The invasion of Iraq took place in March 2003. As of October 23, 2006, the number of casualties in the U.S. ranks was 2,786.


On October 11, a plane flown by Yankee pitcher Cory Lidie crashed into an apartment building in Manhattan. Panic takes hold of the Americans, because this episode somehow reminds us of the events of September 11, 2001, which ended with the legendary Twin Towers.


Five years after the destruction of the Twin Towers, human remains continue to appear in Osama bin Laden’s terrorism-devastated area.

According to New York Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, the new findings bring to 100 the number of fragments discovered by private company workers working on the site. Only 40 per cent of the 2,749 people who died in the attacks of 1 September 2001 have been identified.


Despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law October 26, 2006, a bill authorizing the construction of a wall along more than 1,125 kilometers of the border with Mexico to try to stop illegal immigration.

Mexico’s outgoing president, Vicente Fox, compares the barrier to the wall of shame built in Berlin in 1961.

Fox says the project is an act of’hypocrisy’ on the part of a nation created by immigrants. The cost of the wall ranges from $2 billion to $9 billion.

An initial allocation for that project of approximately $1.2 billion was included in the 2007 fiscal year budget of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


Shoot and never miss. Kills or wounded American soldiers. It is known as Juba and has become the terror of foreign forces in Iraq. It strikes when soldiers get out of a Humvee.

On October 28, the mysterious murderer unveils a video on the Internet showing how he acts.

The sniper fires at the bottom of the spine, between the ribs, and at the top of the chest. According to experts, Juba uses a Tobuk rifle, designed to shoot from more than a thousand meters away.


The U.S. government, through the Treasury Department, says the Cortuluá soccer team (in the town of Tuluá, in Valle, Colombia) has ties to drug trafficker Carlos Alberto”Beto” Rentaría, considered one of the leaders of the Norte del Valle cartel.

Oscar Ignacio Martán, a member of the committee of the Colombian Football Federation and until a few months ago president of Cortuluá, resigned from his post and denied any commercial ties with Rentería.


In mid-October, the United Nations approved a resolution condemning and calling for an end to the economic and trade embargo declared 48 years ago by the United States against Cuba, the fifteenth consecutive time that Cuba has presented a resolution to the General Assembly condemning the negative effects of unilateral measures taken by the United States and requesting their repeal.


Antele, unable to be ratified by the new Democratic-majority Congress as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton resigns on Dec. 5. The 58-year-old lawyer has had difficulties, both in Congress and at the UN, because of his inconsistent style. His involvement was predominant in the preparation of the war in Iraq.


President George W. Bush signs a nuclear-related agreement with India. According to the president, this agreement will help the security of the United States, because it will allow India to join international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The agreement, dated December 1, 2009, establishes that Indi8 will be able to carry out nuclear projects in exchange for allowing the United States to inspect fourteen civil nuclear plants in its territory.

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