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Доклад: History of the USA бесплатно рефераты

Доклад: History of the USA

United States, history of the

Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of

America, a vast nation that arose from a scattering of British colonial

outposts in the New World. The first humans to inhabit the North American

continent were migrants from northeast Asia who established settlements in

North America as early as 8000 BC and possibly much earlier (see NORTH

AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY). By about AD 1500 the native peoples of the areas north

of the Rio Grande had developed a variety of different cultures (see INDIANS,

AMERICAN). The vast region stretching eastward from the Rocky Mountains to

the Atlantic Ocean was relatively sparsely populated by tribes whose

economies were generally based on hunting and gathering, fishing, and


VIKINGS explored the North American mainland in the 10th and 11th centuries

and settled there briefly (see VINLAND). Of more lasting importance, however,

was the first voyage (1492-93) of Christopher COLUMBUS, which inaugurated an

age of great European EXPLORATION of the Western Hemisphere. Various European

states (including Spain, France, England, the Netherlands, and Portugal) and

their trading companies sent out expeditions to explore the New World during

the century and a half that followed.

The Spanish claimed vast areas, including Florida, Mexico, and the region

west of the Mississippi River, although they concentrated their settlement

south of the Rio Grande. The French explored much of the area that became

Canada and established several settlements there. Of most significance,

however, for the subsequent development of the United States, was the English

colonization of the region along the Atlantic coast.


At the end of the period of turmoil associated with the Protestant

Reformation in England, the English people became free to turn their

attention to some other matters and to seek new opportunities outside their

tiny island. Internal stability under Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603) and an

expanding economy combined with a bold intellectual ferment to produce a

soaring self-confidence. Ireland experienced the first impact: by the

beginning of the 17th century it had been wholly subjugated by the English.

Scottish and English Protestants were dispatched to "colonize" where the

savage Irish, as they were called, had been expelled, especially in the

northern provinces. Then, entrepreneurs began to look to North America,

claimed by England on the basis of the voyages of discovery of John CABOT


The Chesapeake Colonies

The English had failed in their attempts in the 1580s to found a colony at

ROANOKE on the Virginia coast. In 1606, however, the LONDON COMPANY,

established to exploit North American resources, sent settlers to what in

1607 became JAMESTOWN, the first permanent English colony in the New World.

The colonists suffered extreme hardships, and by 1622, of the more than

10,000 who had immigrated, only 2,000 remained alive. In 1624 control of the

failing company passed to the crown, making Virginia a royal colony. Soon the

tobacco trade was flourishing, the death rate had fallen, and with a

legislature (the House of Burgesses, established in 1619) and an abundance of

land, the colony entered a period of prosperity. Individual farms, available

at low cost, were worked primarily by white indentured servants (laborers who

were bound to work for a number of years to pay for their passage before

receiving full freedom). The Chesapeake Bay area became a land of opportunity

for poor English people.

In 1632, Maryland was granted to the CALVERT family as a personal possession,

to serve as a refuge for Roman Catholics. Protestants, as well, flooded into

the colony, and in 1649 the Toleration Act was issued, guaranteeing freedom

of worship in Maryland to all Trinitarian Christians.

The New England Colonies

In 1620, Puritan Separatists, later called PILGRIMS, sailed on the MAYFLOWER

to New England, establishing PLYMOUTH COLONY, the first permanent settlement

there. They were followed in 1629 by other Puritans (see PURITANISM), under

the auspices of the MASSACHUSETTS BAY COMPANY, who settled the area around

Boston. During the Great Puritan Migration that followed (1629-42), about

16,000 settlers arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Puritans set out

to build a "city on a hill" intended to provide a model of godly living for

the world. Strict Calvinists, strongly communal, and living in closely bound

villages, they envisioned a God angered at human transgressions, who chose,

purely according to his inscrutable will, a mere "righteous fragment" for

salvation. Dissidents of a Baptist orientation founded Rhode Island

(chartered 1644). In 1639, Puritans on what was then the frontier established

the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the first written constitution in

North America; the colony was chartered in 1662. The settlements in New

Hampshire that sprang up in the 1620s were finally proclaimed a separate

royal colony in 1679. Plymouth later became (1691) part of the royal colony

of Massachusetts.

The Restoration Colonies

A long era (1642-60) of turmoil in England, which included the Civil War,

Oliver Cromwell's republican Commonwealth, and the Protectorate, ended with

the restoration of the Stuarts in the person of Charles II. An amazing period

ensued, during which colonies were founded and other acquisitions were made.

In 1663, Carolina was chartered; settlement began in 1670, and from the start

the colony flourished. The territory later came under royal control as South

Carolina (1721) and North Carolina (1729).

In 1664 an English fleet arrived to claim by right of prior discovery the

land along the Hudson and Delaware rivers that had been settled and occupied

by the Dutch since 1624. Most of NEW NETHERLAND now became New York colony

and its principal settlement, New Amsterdam, became the city of New York. New

York colony, already multiethnic and strongly commercial in spirit, came

under control of the crown in 1685. New Jersey, sparsely settled by the

Dutch, Swedes, and others, was also part of this English claim. Its

proprietors divided it into East and West Jersey in 1676, but the colony was

reunited as a royal province in 1702.

In 1681, Pennsylvania, and in 1682, what eventually became (1776) Delaware,

were granted to William PENN, who founded a great Quaker settlement in and

around Philadelphia. Quaker theology differed widely from that of the New

England Puritans. Believing in a loving God who speaks directly to each

penitent soul and offers salvation freely, Quakers found elaborate church

organizations and ordained clerics unnecessary.

Indian Wars

In 1675 disease-ridden and poverty-stricken Indians in New England set off

against the whites. Almost every Massachusetts town experienced the horror of

Indian warfare; thousands on both sides were slaughtered before King Philip,

the Wampanoag chief, was killed in 1676 and the war ended. Virginians,

appalled at this event, in 1676 began attacking the Occaneechees despite the

disapproval of the royal governor, Sir William BERKELEY. Then, under

Nathaniel Bacon, dissatisfied and angry colonists expelled Berkeley from

Jamestown and proclaimed Bacon's Laws, which gave the right to vote to all

freedmen. Royal troops soon arrived to put down the uprising, known as.

Along the Mohawk River in New York, the Five Nations of the IROQUOIS LEAGUE

maintained their powerful confederacy with its sophisticated governing

structure and strong religious faith. Allies of the English against the

French along the Saint Lawrence River, they dominated a vast region westward

to Lake Superior with their powerful and well-organized armies. The FRENCH

AND INDIAN WARS, a series of great wars between the two European powers and

their Indian allies, ended in 1763 when French rule was eradicated from North

America and Canada was placed under the British crown.

18th-Century Social and Economic Developments

In the 1700s the British colonies grew rapidly in population and wealth. A

formerly crude society acquired a polished and numerous elite. Trade and

cities flourished. The 250,000 settlers who had lived in the mainland

colonies to the south of Canada in 1700 became 2,250,000 by 1775 and would

grow to 5,300,000 by 1800. Settlement expanded widely from the coastal

beachheads of the 17th century into back-country regions with profoundly

divergent ways of life.

Several non-English ethnic groups migrated to the British colonies in large

numbers during the 18th century. By 1775, Germans, who settled primarily in

the Middle Colonies but also in the back-country South, numbered about

250,000. They were members of the Lutheran and German Reformed (Calvinist)

churches or of pietist sects (Moravians, Mennonites, Amish, and the like);

the pietists, in particular, tended to live separately, avoiding English-

speaking peoples. From the 1730s waves of Scots-Irish immigrants, numbering

perhaps 250,000 by the time of the Revolution, swelled the ranks of the non-

English group. Forming dense settlements in Pennsylvania, as well as in New

York's Hudson Valley and in the back-country South, they brought with them

the Presbyterian church, which was to become widely prominent in American

life. Many of these immigrants were indentured servants; a small percentage

were criminals, transported from the jails of England, where they had been

imprisoned for debt or for more serious crimes. The colony of Georgia was

granted in 1732 to reformers, led by James OGLETHORPE, who envisioned it as

an asylum for English debtors, as well as a buffer against Spanish Florida.

Georgia, too, was colonized by many non-English people.

The Growth of Slavery

Slaves from Africa were used in small numbers in the colonies from about 1619

(see BLACK AMERICANS; SLAVERY). After British merchants joined the Dutch in

the slave trade later in the 17th century, prices tumbled and increasing

numbers of black people were transported into the southern colonies to be

used for plantation labor. Slaves were also used in the northern colonies,

but in far fewer numbers. The survival rates as well as birthrates tended to

be high for slaves brought to the North American mainland colonies--in

contrast to those transported to the West Indies or to South America.

The expansion of slavery was the most fateful event of the pre- Revolutionary

years. Virginia had only about 16,000 slaves in 1700; by 1770 it held more

than 187,000, or almost half the population of the colony. In low country

South Carolina, with its rice and indigo plantations, only 25,000 out of a

total population of 100,000 were white in 1775. Fearful whites mounted slave

patrols and exacted savage penalties upon transgression in order to maintain

black passivity.

Meanwhile, on the basis of abundant slave labor, the world of great

plantations emerged, creating sharp distinctions in wealth among whites.

Southern society was dominated by the aristocracy; however, whites of all

classes were united in their fear of blacks. Miscegenation was common,

especially where slaves were most numerous, and mulattos were regarded as

black, not white. An almost total absence of government in this sparsely

settled, rural southern environment resulted in complete license on the part

of owners in the treatment of their slaves. Paradoxically, the ideal of

liberty--of freedom from all restraints--was powerful in the southern white


Religious Trends

As transatlantic trade increased, communication between the colonies and

England became closer, and English customs and institutions exerted a

stronger influence on the Americans. The aristocracy aped London fashions,

and colonials participated in British cultural movements. The Church of

England, the established church in the southern colonies and in the four

counties in and around New York City, grew in status and influence. At the

same time, in both Britain and America, an increasingly rationalistic and

scientific outlook, born in the science of Sir Isaac NEWTON and the

philosophy of John LOCKE, made religious observance more logical and of this

world. Deism and so-called natural religion scoffed at Christianity and the

Bible as a collection of ancient superstitions.

Then from England came an upsurge of evangelical Protestantism, led by John

Wesley (the eventual founder of the Methodist church; see WESLEY family) and

George WHITEFIELD. It sought to combat the new rationalism and foster a

revival of enthusiasm in Christian faith and worship. Beginning in 1738, with

Whitefield's arrival in the colonies, a movement known as the GREAT AWAKENING

swept the colonials, gaining strength from an earlier outbreak of revivalism

in Massachusetts (1734-35) led by Jonathan EDWARDS. Intensely democratic in

spirit, the Great Awakening was the first intercolonial cultural movement. It

vastly reenergized a Puritanism that, since the mid-1600s, had lost its

vigor. All churches were electrified by its power-- either in support or in

opposition. The movement also revived the earlier Puritan notion that America

was to be a "city on a hill," a special place of God's work, to stand in

sharp contrast to what was regarded as corrupt and irreligious England.


By the middle of the 18th century the wave of American expansion was

beginning to top the Appalachian rise and move into the valley of the Ohio.

Colonial land companies looked covetously to that frontier. The French,

foreseeing a serious threat to their fur trade with the Indians, acted

decisively. In 1749 they sent an expedition to reinforce their claim to the

Ohio Valley and subsequently established a string of forts there. The British

and the colonists were forced to respond to the move or suffer the loss of

the vast interior, long claimed by both British and French. The French and

Indian War (1754-63) that resulted became a worldwide conflict, called the

SEVEN YEARS' WAR in Europe. At its end, the British had taken over most of

France's colonial empire as well as Spanish Florida and had become dominant

in North America except for Spain's possessions west of the Mississippi


Rising Tensions

A delirious pride over the victory swept the colonies and equaled that of the

British at home. Outbursts of patriotic celebration and cries of loyalty to

the crown infused the Americans. The tremendous cost of the war itself and

the huge responsibility accompanying the new possessions, however, left

Britain with an immense war debt and heavy administrative costs. At the same

time the elimination of French rule in North America lifted the burden of

fear of that power from the colonists, inducing them to be more independent-

minded. The war effort itself had contributed to a new sense of pride and

confidence in their own military prowess. In addition, the rapid growth rate

of the mid-18th century had compelled colonial governments to become far more

active than that of old, established England. Because most male colonists

possessed property and the right to vote, the result was the emergence of a

turbulent world of democratic politics.

London authorities attempted to meet the costs of imperial administration by

levying a tax on the colonials; the STAMP ACT of 1765 required a tax on all

public documents, newspapers, notes and bonds, and almost every other printed

paper. A raging controversy that brought business practically to a standstill

erupted in the colonies. A Stamp Act Congress, a gathering of representatives

from nine colonies, met in New York in October 1765 to issue a solemn

protest. It held that the colonials possessed the same rights and liberties

as did the British at home, among which was the principle that "no taxes be

imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally or by their

representatives." In March 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act; it passed

the Declaratory Act, asserting its complete sovereignty over the colonies.

Thereafter the transatlantic controversy was rarely quiet. The colonists

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