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They believed, for instance, that public schools restricted individual liberty by interfering with parental responsibility and undermined freedom of religion by replacing church schools.
Nor did Jackson share reformers' humanitarian concerns. He had no sympathy for American Indians, initiating the removal of the Cherokees along the Trail of Tears.
The great majority of anti-slavery activists, such as Abraham Lincoln and Mr. Walters, rejected Garrison's theology and held that slavery was an unfortunate social evil, not a sin.
The American colonies and the new nation grew rapidly in population and area, as pioneers pushed the frontier of settlement west. Native American tribes in some places resisted militarily, but they were overwhelmed by settlers and the army and after were relocated to reservations in the west.
The highly influential " Frontier Thesis " of Wisconsin historian Frederick Jackson Turner argues that the frontier shaped the national character, with its boldness, violence, innovation, individualism , and democracy.
Recent historians have emphasized the multicultural nature of the frontier. Enormous popular attention in the media focuses on the "Wild West" of the second half of the 19th century.
As defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, and the formation of states".
They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America.
The Hispanics in California " Californios " were overwhelmed by over , gold rush miners. California grew explosively. San Francisco by had become the economic hub of the entire Pacific Coast with a diverse population of a quarter million.
From the early s to , the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by over , settlers. Wagon-trains took five or six months on foot; after , the trip took 6 days by rail.
Manifest destiny was the belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent. This concept was born out of "A sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example After a bitter debate in Congress the Republic of Texas was annexed in , leading to war with Mexico, who considered Texas to be a part of Mexico due to the large numbers of Mexican settlers.
The Mexican—American War —48 broke out with the Whigs opposed to the war, and the Democrats supporting the war. The U. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war in Many Democrats wanted to annex all of Mexico, but that idea was rejected by southerners who argued that by incorporating millions of Mexican people, mainly of mixed race, would undermine the United States as an exclusively white republic.
The Hispanic residents were given full citizenship and the Mexican Indians became American Indians. Simultaneously, gold was discovered in California in , attracting over , men to northern California in a matter of months in the California Gold Rush.
A peaceful compromise with Britain gave the U. The demand for guano prized as an agricultural fertilizer led the United States to pass the Guano Islands Act in , which enabled citizens of the United States to take possession, in the name of the United States, of unclaimed islands containing guano deposits.
Under the act the United States annexed nearly islands in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. By , 66 of these islands were recognized as territories of the United States.
The central issue after was the expansion of slavery, pitting the anti-slavery elements in the North, against the pro-slavery elements that dominated the South.
A small number of active Northerners were abolitionists who declared that ownership of slaves was a sin in terms of Protestant theology and demanded its immediate abolition.
Much larger numbers in the North were against the expansion of slavery, seeking to put it on the path to extinction so that America would be committed to free land as in low-cost farms owned and cultivated by a family , free labor, and free speech as opposed to censorship of abolitionist material in the South.
Southern whites insisted that slavery was of economic, social, and cultural benefit to all whites and even to the slaves themselves , and denounced all anti-slavery spokesmen as "abolitionists".
Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy.
They also argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. Religious activists split on slavery, with the Methodists and Baptists dividing into northern and southern denominations.
In the North, the Methodists, Congregationalists , and Quakers included many abolitionists , especially among women activists.
The Catholic , Episcopal and Lutheran denominations largely ignored the slavery issue. The issue of slavery in the new territories was seemingly settled by the Compromise of , brokered by Whig Henry Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas ; the Compromise included the admission of California as a free state in exchange for no federal restrictions on slavery placed on Utah or New Mexico.
Abolitionists pounced on the Act to attack slavery, as in the best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Compromise of was repealed in with the Kansas—Nebraska Act , promoted by Senator Douglas in the name of " popular sovereignty " and democracy.
It permitted voters to decide on the legality of slavery in each territory, and allowed Douglas to adopt neutrality on the issue of slavery.
Anti-slavery forces rose in anger and alarm, forming the new Republican Party. Pro- and anti- contingents rushed to Kansas to vote slavery up or down, resulting in a miniature civil war called Bleeding Kansas.
By the late s, the young Republican Party dominated nearly all northern states and thus the electoral college. It insisted that slavery would never be allowed to expand and thus would slowly die out.
The Southern slavery-based societies had become wealthy based on their cotton and other agricultural commodity production, and some particularly profited from the internal slave trade.
Northern cities such as Boston and New York, and regional industries, were tied economically to slavery by banking, shipping, and manufacturing, including textile mills.
By , there were four million slaves in the South , nearly eight times as many as there were nationwide in The plantations were highly profitable, due to the heavy European demand for raw cotton.
Most of the profits were invested in new lands and in purchasing more slaves largely drawn from the declining tobacco regions.
For 50 of the nation's first 72 years, a slaveholder served as President of the United States and, during that period, only slaveholding presidents were re-elected to second terms.
Slave rebellions, by Gabriel Prosser , Denmark Vesey , Nat Turner , and most famously by John Brown , caused fear in the white South, which imposed stricter oversight of slaves and reduced the rights of free blacks.
The Fugitive Slave Act of required the states to cooperate with slave owners when attempting to recover escaped slaves, which outraged Northerners.
Formerly, an escaped slave that reached a non-slave state was presumed to have attained sanctuary and freedom under the Missouri Compromise.
The Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional; angry Republicans said this decision threatened to make slavery a national institution.
After Abraham Lincoln won the election , seven Southern states seceded from the union and set up a new nation, the Confederate States of America Confederacy , on February 8, It attacked Fort Sumter , a U.
Army fort in South Carolina, thus igniting the war. When Lincoln called for troops to suppress the Confederacy in April , four more states seceded and joined the Confederacy.
A few of the northernmost " slave states " did not secede and became known as the border states ; these were Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.
During the war, the northwestern portion of Virginia seceded from the Confederacy. The Civil War began on April 12, , when elements of , Confederate forces attacked a U.
In response to the attack, on April 15, Lincoln called on the states to send detachments totaling 75, troops to recapture forts, protect the capital, and "preserve the Union", which in his view still existed intact despite the actions of the seceding states.
The two armies had their first major clash at the First Battle of Bull Run Battle of Manassas , ending in a Union defeat, but, more importantly, proved to both the Union and Confederacy that the war would be much longer and bloodier than originally anticipated.
The war soon divided into two theaters: Eastern and Western. In the western theater, the Union was relatively successful, with major battles, such as Perryville and Shiloh along with Union gunboat dominance of navigable rivers producing strategic Union victories and destroying major Confederate operations.
Warfare in the Eastern theater began poorly for the Union as the Confederates won at Manassas Junction Bull Run , just outside Washington. Major General George B.
McClellan was put in charge of the Union armies. After reorganizing the new Army of the Potomac , McClellan failed to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia in his Peninsula Campaign and retreated after attacks from newly appointed Confederate General Robert E.
The main action was Union success in controlling the border states, with Confederates largely driven out of Maryland, West Virginia a new state , Kentucky and Missouri.
The autumn Confederate campaign into Maryland was designed to hurt Union morale and win European support.
It ended with Confederate retreat at the Battle of Antietam , and Lincoln's warning he would issue an Emancipation Proclamation in January if the states did not return.
Making slavery a central war goal energized Republicans in the North, as well as their enemies, the anti-war Copperhead Democrats.
It ended the risk of British and French intervention. Lee's smaller army won at the Battle of Fredericksburg late in , causing yet another change in commanders.
Lee won again at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May , while losing his top aide, Stonewall Jackson. But Lee pushed too hard and ignored the Union threat in the west.
Lee invaded Pennsylvania in search of supplies and to cause war-weariness in the North. In perhaps the turning point of the war , Lee's army was badly beaten at the Battle of Gettysburg , July 1—3, , and barely made it back to Virginia.
Foreign trade increased, with the United States providing both food and cotton to Britain, And Britain sending in manufactured products and thousands of volunteers for the Union Army plus a few to the Confederates.
The British operated blockade runners bringing in food, luxury items and munitions to the Confederacy, bringing out tobacco and cotton.
The Union blockade increasingly shut down Confederate ports, and by late the blockade runners were usually captured before they could make more than a handful of runs.
In the West, on July 4, , Union forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant gained control of the Mississippi River at the Battle of Vicksburg , thereby splitting the Confederacy.
Lincoln made General Grant commander of all Union armies. Grant put General William Tecumseh Sherman in charge of the Western armies.
In , Sherman marched south from Chattanooga to capture Atlanta, a decisive victory that ended war jitters among Republicans in the North who feared they might fail to reelect Lincoln in Lincoln won a landslide.
The last two years of the war were bloody for both sides, With Sherman marching almost unopposed through central and eastern Georgia, then moving up through South Carolina and North Carolina, burning cities, destroying plantations, ruining railroads and bridges, but avoiding civilian casualties.
Sherman demonstrated that the South lacked the long-term ability to resist a northern invasion. Much of the heartland of the Confederacy was physically destroyed, and could no longer provide desperately needed food, horses, mules, wagons, boots or munitions to its combat armies.
In spring Grant, realizing that Lee was unable to replenish casualties, while Lincoln would provide replacements for Union losses, launched a war of attrition against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
This war of attrition was divided into three main campaigns. The first of these, the Overland Campaign forced Lee to retreat into the city of Petersburg where Grant launched his second major offensive, the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign in which he besieged Petersburg.
After a near ten-month siege, Petersburg surrendered. However, the defense of Fort Gregg allowed Lee to move his army out of Petersburg.
Grant pursued and launched the final, Appomattox Campaign which resulted in Lee surrendering his Army of Northern Virginia numbering 28, on April 9, , at Appomattox Court House.
Other Confederate armies followed suit and the war ended with no postwar insurgency. The American Civil War was the world's earliest industrial war.
Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively. The mobilization of civilian factories, mines, shipyards, banks, transportation and food supplies all foreshadowed the impact of industrialization in World War I.
It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of about , soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.
According to historian Allan Nevins , the Civil War had a major long-term impact on the United States in terms of developing its leadership potential and moving the entire nation beyond the adolescent stage:.
The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, In a single stroke it changed the legal status, as recognized by the U.
It had the practical effect that as soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the slave became legally and actually free.
The owners were never compensated. Plantation owners, realizing that emancipation would destroy their economic system, sometimes moved their slaves as far as possible out of reach of the Union army.
By June , the Union Army controlled all of the Confederacy and liberated all of the designated slaves. The severe dislocations of war and Reconstruction had a large negative impact on the black population, with a large amount of sickness and death.
Reconstruction lasted from Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, to the Compromise of The major issues faced by Lincoln were the status of the ex-slaves called "Freedmen" , the loyalty and civil rights of ex-rebels, the status of the 11 ex-Confederate states, the powers of the federal government needed to prevent a future civil war, and the question of whether Congress or the President would make the major decisions.
The severe threats of starvation and displacement of the unemployed Freedmen were met by the first major federal relief agency, the Freedmen's Bureau , operated by the Army.
Three " Reconstruction Amendments " were passed to expand civil rights for black Americans: the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed equal rights for all and citizenship for blacks; the Fifteenth Amendment prevented race from being used to disenfranchise men.
Ex-Confederates remained in control of most Southern states for over two years, but changed when the Radical Republicans gained control of Congress in the elections.
President Andrew Johnson , who sought easy terms for reunions with ex-rebels, was virtually powerless in the face of the Radical Republican Congress; he was impeached, but the Senate's attempt to remove him from office failed by one vote.
Congress enfranchised black men and temporarily stripped many ex-Confederate leaders of the right to hold office.
New Republican governments came to power based on a coalition of Freedmen made up of Carpetbaggers new arrivals from the North , and Scalawags native white Southerners.
They were backed by the U. Opponents said they were corrupt and violated the rights of whites. State by state, they lost power to a conservative-Democratic coalition, which gained control of the entire South by In response to Radical Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan KKK emerged in as a white-supremacist organization opposed to black civil rights and Republican rule.
President Ulysses Grant's vigorous enforcement of the Ku Klux Klan Act of shut down the Klan, and it disbanded. Paramilitary groups, such as the White League and Red Shirts emerged about that worked openly to use intimidation and violence to suppress black voting to regain white political power in states across the South during the s.
Rable described them as the military arm of the Democratic Party. Reconstruction ended after the disputed election. The Compromise of gave Republican candidate Rutherford B.
Hayes the White House in exchange for removing all remaining federal troops in the South. The federal government withdrew its troops from the South, and Southern Democrats took control of every Southern state.
They passed segregation laws and imposed second-class status on blacks in a system known as Jim Crow that lasted until the Civil Rights Movement.
The latter half of the nineteenth century was marked by the rapid development and settlement of the far West, first by wagon trains and riverboats and then aided by the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
Large numbers of European immigrants especially from Germany and Scandinavia took up low-cost or free farms in the Prairie States.
Mining for silver and copper opened up the Mountain West. The United States Army fought frequent small-scale wars with Native Americans as settlers encroached on their traditional lands.
Gradually the U. According to the U. Bureau of the Census , from to The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number.
They have cost the lives of about 19, white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30, Indians.
The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate.
The "Gilded Age" was a term that Mark Twain used to describe the period of the late 19th century with a dramatic expansion of American wealth and prosperity, underscored by the mass corruption in the government.
Reforms of the Age included the Civil Service Act , which mandated a competitive examination for applicants for government jobs.
Other important legislation included the Interstate Commerce Act , which ended railroads' discrimination against small shippers, and the Sherman Antitrust Act , which outlawed monopolies in business.
Twain believed that this age was corrupted by such elements as land speculators, scandalous politics, and unethical business practices.
Beard and Matthew Josephson , some historians have argued that the United States was effectively plutocratic for at least part of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Morgan and John D. Rockefeller began to amass vast fortunes, many U. By American industrial production and per capita income exceeded those of all other world nations.
In response to heavy debts and decreasing farm prices, wheat and cotton farmers joined the Populist Party. From to , peak years of immigration, more than 22 million people migrated to the United States.
Many immigrants were craftsmen especially from Britain and Germany bringing human skills, and others were farmers especially from Germany and Scandinavia who purchased inexpensive land on the Prairies from railroads who sent agents to Europe.
Poverty, growing inequality and dangerous working conditions, along with socialist and anarchist ideas diffusing from European immigrants, led to the rise of the labor movement , which often included violent strikes.
Skilled workers banded together to control their crafts and raise wages by forming labor unions in industrial areas of the Northeast. Before the s few factory workers joined the unions in the labor movement.
Samuel Gompers led the American Federation of Labor — , coordinating multiple unions. Industrial growth was rapid, led by John D.
Rockefeller in oil and Andrew Carnegie in steel; both became leaders of philanthropy Gospel of Wealth , giving away their fortunes to create the modern system of hospitals, universities, libraries, and foundations.
The Panic of broke out and was a severe nationwide depression impacting farmers, workers, and businessmen who saw prices, wages, and profits fall.
The resultant political reaction fell on the Democratic Party, whose leader President Grover Cleveland shouldered much of the blame.
Labor unrest involved numerous strikes, most notably the violent Pullman Strike of , which was shut down by federal troops under Cleveland's orders.
The Populist Party gained strength among cotton and wheat farmers, as well as coal miners, but was overtaken by the even more popular Free Silver movement, which demanded using silver to enlarge the money supply, leading to inflation that the silverites promised would end the depression.
The financial, railroad, and business communities fought back hard, arguing that only the gold standard would save the economy.
In the most intense election in the nation's history, conservative Republican William McKinley defeated silverite William Jennings Bryan , who ran on the Democratic, Populist, and Silver Republican tickets.
Bryan swept the South and West, but McKinley ran up landslides among the middle class, industrial workers, cities, and among upscale farmers in the Midwest.
Prosperity returned under McKinley, the gold standard was enacted, and the tariff was raised. By the U. Apart from two short recessions in and the overall economy remained prosperous and growing until Republicans, citing McKinley's policies, took the credit.
The United States emerged as a world economic and military power after The main episode was the Spanish—American War , which began when Spain refused American demands to reform its oppressive policies in Cuba.
At the Treaty of Paris peace conference the United States acquired the Philippines , Puerto Rico , and Guam. Cuba became an independent country, under close American tutelage.
Although the war itself was widely popular, the peace terms proved controversial. William Jennings Bryan led his Democratic Party in opposition to control of the Philippines, which he denounced as imperialism unbecoming to American democracy.
McKinley easily defeated Bryan in a rematch in the presidential election. After defeating an insurrection by Filipino nationalists , the United States achieved little in the Philippines except in education, and it did something in the way of public health.
It also built roads, bridges, and wells, but infrastructural development lost much of its early vigor with the failure of the railroads.
The canal opened in and increased trade with Japan and the rest of the Far East. A key innovation was the Open Door Policy , whereby the imperial powers were given equal access to Chinese business, with not one of them allowed to take control of China.
Dissatisfaction on the part of the growing middle class with the corruption and inefficiency of politics as usual, and the failure to deal with increasingly important urban and industrial problems, led to the dynamic Progressive Movement starting in the s.
In every major city and state, and at the national level as well, and in education, medicine, and industry, the progressives called for the modernization and reform of decrepit institutions, the elimination of corruption in politics, and the introduction of efficiency as a criterion for change.
Leading politicians from both parties, most notably Theodore Roosevelt , Charles Evans Hughes , and Robert La Follette on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson on the Democratic side, took up the cause of progressive reform.
Women became especially involved in demands for woman suffrage, prohibition, and better schools; their most prominent leader was Jane Addams of Chicago, who created settlement houses.
Progressives implemented antitrust laws and regulated such industries of meat-packing, drugs, and railroads.
The women's suffrage movement began with the June National Convention of the Liberty Party. Presidential candidate Gerrit Smith argued for and established women's suffrage as a party plank.
One month later, his cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton joined with Lucretia Mott and other women to organize the Seneca Falls Convention , featuring the Declaration of Sentiments demanding equal rights for women, and the right to vote.
The women's rights campaign during " first-wave feminism " was led by Stanton, Lucy Stone and Susan B.
Browse Schools Public Schools by State University Video Reviews. Question: How old is the United States of America? As of July 4th, , the United States of America is years old.
The United States celebrates its birthday as July 4th, when the Second See full answer below. Ask a question Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions.
Ask a question Ask a question. Search Answers. Learn more about this topic:. Try it risk-free. The Constitution.
The country adopted the United States Constitution on September 17, It established new laws. It made a new identity for America.
The document served as a follow up to the Articles of Confederation, which was tossed aside because it limited the power of the federal government.
A Growing Country. After Colonists declared independence and the British Empire withdrew its troops, the United States of America grew.
In , the country purchased land from France. The Louisiana Purchase included land that extended from Mexico to Canada. How Old Is America?
By Staff Writer Last Updated May 27, PM ET. The Colonies The United States was once 13 colonies: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.
The Boston Massacre Many people do not realize how important the Boston Massacre was in the founding of the United States. The Boston Tea Party The Boston Tea Party also added to ongoing tensions.
The Revolutionary War The Revolutionary War was the result of ongoing tension between Colonists and the British. The Declaration of Independence In , delegates from the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia.
The US marked its first birthday on July 4, , with 13 gunshots fired once in the morning and again in the evening. July 4 was first recognized as a state celebration in by the Massachusetts General Court.
Thus, Independence Day became a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. On July 4, , the US celebrated its rd birthday.
Countries With Shrinking Populations. Biggest Cities In The Philippines. What is the Difference Between the Vatican City and the Holy See?He cut military spending by reliance on very high technology, such as nuclear weapons carried by long-range bombers and Die Siedler Online.De missiles. Thaddeus Stevens: Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian. Retrieved August 17,