Civil rights movement (1896–1954)
The civil rights movement was a long nonviolent series of events to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans. The era has had a lasting impact on United States society, in its tactics, the increased social and legal acceptance of civil rights, in its exposure of the prevalence and cost of racism. Two United States Supreme Court decisions—Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, which upheld "separate but equal" racial segregation as constitutional doctrine, Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 which overturned Plessy—serve as milestones. This was an era of new beginnings, in which some movements, such as Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, were successful but left little lasting legacy, while others, such as the NAACP's painstaking legal assault on state-sponsored segregation, achieved modest results in its early years but made steady progress on voter rights and built to a key victory in Brown v. Board of Education. After the Civil War, the US expanded the legal rights of African Americans.
Congress passed, enough states ratified, an amendment ending slavery in 1865—the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment only outlawed slavery. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified by the states. All persons born in the US were extended equal protection under the laws of the Constitution; the 15th Amendment stated that race could not be used as a condition to deprive men of the ability to vote. During Reconstruction, Northern troops occupied the South. Together with the Freedmen's Bureau, they tried to administer and enforce the new constitutional amendments. Many black leaders were elected to local and state offices, many others organized community groups to support education. Reconstruction ended following the Compromise of 1877 between Southern white elites. In exchange for deciding the contentious Presidential election in favor of Rutherford B. Hayes, supported by Northern states, over his opponent, Samuel J. Tilden, the compromise called for the withdrawal of Northern troops from the South.
This followed violence and fraud in southern elections from 1868 to 1876, which had reduced black voter turnout and enabled Southern white Democrats to regain power in state legislatures across the South. The compromise and withdrawal of Federal troops meant that white Democrats had more freedom to impose and enforce discriminatory practices. Many African Americans responded to the withdrawal of federal troops by leaving the South in what is known as the Kansas Exodus of 1879; the Radical Republicans, who spearheaded Reconstruction, had attempted to eliminate both governmental and private discrimination by legislation. That effort was ended by the Supreme Court's decision in the Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S. 3, in which the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give Congress power to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals or businesses. The Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld state-mandated discrimination in public transportation under the "separate but equal" doctrine.
As Justice Harlan, the only member of the Court to dissent from the decision, predicted: If a state can prescribe, as a rule of civil conduct, that whites and blacks shall not travel as passengers in the same railroad coach, why may it not so regulate the use of the streets of its cities and towns as to compel white citizens to keep on one side of a street, black citizens to keep on the other? Why may it not, upon like grounds, punish whites and blacks who ride together in street cars or in open vehicles on a public road or street?.... The Plessy decision did not address an earlier Supreme Court case, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U. S. 356, involving discrimination against Chinese immigrants, that held that a law, race-neutral on its face, but is administered in a prejudicial manner, is an infringement of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. While in the 20th century, the Supreme Court began to overturn state statutes that disenfranchised African Americans, as in Guinn v. United States, with Plessy, it upheld segregation that Southern states enforced in nearly every other sphere of public and private life.
The Court soon extended Plessy to uphold segregated schools. In Berea College v. Kentucky, 211 U. S. 45, the Court upheld a Kentucky statute that barred Berea College, a private institution, from teaching both black and white students in an integrated setting. Many states in the South, took Plessy and Berea as blanket approval for restrictive laws known as Jim Crow laws, that created second-class status for African Americans. In many cities and towns, African Americans were not allowed to share a taxi with whites or enter a building through the same entrance, they had to drink from separate water fountains, use separate restrooms, attend separate schools, be buried in separate cemeteries and swear on separate Bibles. They were excluded from public libraries. Many parks barred them with signs that read "Negroes and dogs not allowed." One municipal zoo listed separate visiting hours. The etiquette of racial segregation was harsher in the South. African Americans were expected to step aside to let a white person pass, black men dared not look any white woman in the eye.
Black men and women were addressed as "Tom" or "Jane", but as "Mr." or "Miss" or "Mrs," titles widely in use for adults. Whites referred to black men of any age as "boy" and a black woman as "girl". Less formal soci
The Federalist Era in American history ran from 1788-1800, a time when the Federalist Party and its predecessors were dominant in American politics. During this period, Federalists controlled Congress and enjoyed the support of President George Washington and President John Adams; the era saw the creation of a new, stronger federal government under the United States Constitution, a deepening of support for nationalism, diminished fears of tyranny by a central government. The era began with the ratification of the United States Constitution and ended with the Democratic-Republican Party's victory in the 1800 elections. During the 1780s, an era sometimes known as the "Confederation Period" of United States history, the United States had functioned under the Articles of Confederation, which provided for a loose confederation of states. At the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, delegates from most of the states wrote a new constitution that created a more powerful federal government. After the convention, this constitution was submitted to the states for ratification.
Those who advocated ratification became known as Federalists, while those opposed to ratification became known as anti-Federalists. After the Federalists won the ratification debate in all but two states, the new constitution took effect and new elections were held for Congress and the presidency; the first elections returned large Federalist majorities in both houses and elected George Washington, who had taken part in the Philadelphia Convention, as president. The Washington administration and the 1st United States Congress established numerous precedents and much of the structure of the new government. Congress shaped the federal judiciary with the Judiciary Act of 1789 while Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's economic policies fostered a strong central government; the first Congress passed the United States Bill of Rights to constitutionally limit the powers of the federal government. During the Federalist Era, U. S. foreign policy was dominated by concerns regarding Britain and Spain.
Washington and Adams sought to avoid war with each of these countries while ensuring continued trade and settlement of the American frontier. Hamilton's policies divided the United States along factional lines, creating voter-based political parties for the first time. Hamilton mobilized urban elites who favored his economic policies, his opponents coalesced around James Madison. Jefferson feared that Hamilton's policies would lead to an aristocratic, monarchical, society that clashed with his vision of a republic built on yeomen farmers; this economic policy debate was further roiled by the French Revolutionary Wars, as Jeffersonians tended to sympathize with France and Hamiltonians with Britain. The Jay Treaty established peaceful commercial relations with Britain, but outraged the Jeffersonians and damaged relations with France. Hamilton's followers organized into the Federalist Party while the Jeffersonians organized into the Democratic-Republican Party. Though many who had sought ratification of the Constitution joined the Federalist Party, some advocates of the Constitution, led by Madison, became members of the Democratic-Republicans.
The Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party contested the 1796 presidential election, with the Federalist Adams emerging triumphant. From 1798 to 1800, the United States engaged in the Quasi-War with France, many Americans rallied to Adams. In the wake of these foreign policy tensions, the Federalists imposed the Alien and Sedition Acts to crack down on dissidents and make it more difficult for immigrants to become citizens. Historian Carol Berkin argues that the Federalists strengthen the national government, without arousing fears of tyranny; the Federalists embraced a quasi-aristocratic, elitist vision, unpopular with most Americans outside of the middle class. Jefferson's egalitarian vision appealed to farmers and middle-class urbanites alike and the party embraced campaign tactics that mobilized all classes of society. Although the Federalists retained strength in New England and other parts of the Northeast, the Democratic-Republicans dominated the South and West and became the more successful party in much of the Northeast.
In the 1800 elections, Jefferson defeated Adams for the presidency and the Democratic-Republicans took control of Congress. Jefferson referred to the election as the "Revolution of 1800," as Jeffersonian democracy came to dominate the country in the succeeding decades; the Federalists collapsed after the war. Despite the Federalist Party's demise, many of the institutions and structures established by the party would endure, Hamilton's economic policies would influence generations of American political leaders; the United States Constitution was written at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and ratified by the states in 1788, taking effect in 1789. During the 1780s, the United States had operated under the Articles of Confederation, a treaty of thirteen sovereign states. Domestic and foreign policy challenges convinced many in the United States of the need for a new constitution that provided for a stronger national government; the supporters of ratification of the Constitution were called Federalists while the opponents were called Anti-Federalists.
The immediate problem faced by the Federalists was not one of acceptance of the Constitution but the more fundamental concern of legitimacy for the government of the new republic. With this challenge in mind, the new national government needed to act with the idea that every act was being carried out for the first time and would therefore have great significance and be viewed along the lines of the symbolic as well as
Colonial American military history
Colonial American military history is the military record of the Thirteen Colonies from their founding to the American Revolution in 1775. Rangers in North America served in the 17th and 18th-century wars between colonists and Native American tribes; the British regulars were not accustomed to frontier warfare and so Ranger companies were developed. Rangers were full-time soldiers employed by colonial governments to patrol between fixed frontier fortifications in reconnaissance, providing early warning of raids. In offensive operations, they were scouts and guides, locating villages and other targets for task forces drawn from the militia or other colonial troops; the father of American ranging is Colonel Benjamin Church. He was the captain of the first Ranger force in America. Church was commissioned by Plymouth Colony Governor Josiah Winslow to form the first ranger company for King Philip's War, he employed the company to raid Acadia during King William's War and Queen Anne's War. Benjamin Church designed his force to emulate Native American patterns of war.
Toward this end, he endeavored to learn from Native Americans. Americans became rangers under the tutelage of the Indian allies. Church developed a special full-time unit mixing white colonists, selected for frontier skills, with friendly Native Americans to carry out offensive strikes against hostile Native Americans in terrain where normal militia units were ineffective. Under Church served the father and grandfather of two famous rangers of the eighteenth century: John Lovewell and John Gorham, respectively. Rogers' Rangers was established in 1751 by Major Robert Rogers, who organized nine Ranger companies in the American colonies; these early American light infantry units organized during the French and Indian War were called "Rangers" and are considered to be the spiritual birthplace of the modern Army Rangers. The beginning of the United States military lies in local governments which created militias that enrolled nearly all free white men; the British Army and Royal Navy handled international wars.
The militia was not employed as a fighting force in major operations outside the local jurisdiction. Instead, the colony asked for volunteers, many of whom were militia members; the local Indian threat ended by 1725 in most places, after which the militia system was little used except for local ceremonial roles. The militia system was revived at the end of the colonial era, as the American Revolution approached; the militia played a major fighting role in the Revolution in expelling the British from Boston in 1776 and capturing the invading British Army at Saratoga in 1777. However most of the fighting was handled by the Continental Army. Military actions in the colonies were the result of conflicts with Native Americans in the early years of the British colonization of North America, such as in the Anglo-Powhatan Wars between 1610 and 1646, the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip's War in 1675, the Susquehannock war in 1675–77, the Yamasee War in 1715. Father Rale's War happened in Nova Scotia. There occurred slave uprisings, such as the Stono Rebellion in 1739.
There was Father Le Loutre's War, which involved Acadians, in the lead-up to the French and Indian War. Kieft's War was a conflict between Dutch settlers and Indians in the colony of New Netherland from 1643 to 1645; the fighting involved counter-raids. It was bloody in proportion to the population; the British fought the Spanish in the War of Jenkins' Ear, 1739–1748. After 1742, the war merged into the larger War of the Austrian Succession involving most of the powers of Europe. Georgia beat back a Spanish invasion of Georgia in 1742, some sporadic border fighting continued; the war merged into King George's War, which ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. Beginning in 1689, the colonies frequently became involved in a series of four major wars between Britain and France for control of North America, the most important of which were Queen Anne's War, in which the British won French Acadia, the final French and Indian War, when France lost all of Canada; this final war gave thousands of colonists military experience, including George Washington, which they put to use during the American Revolution.
Britain and France fought a series of four French and Indian Wars, followed with another war in 1778 when France joined the Americans in the American Revolution. The French settlers in New France were outnumbered 15–1 by the 13 American colonies, so the French relied on Indian allies; the wars were bloody, causing immense suffering for everyone involved. In the long run, the Indians were the biggest losers; when the British won full control, the Indian power was limited. Frontier settlers were exposed to sudden Indian raids. One profitable form of wartime activity in which colonists engaged was privateering—legalized piracy against enemy merchant ships. Another was hunting enemy Indians for the purpose of scalping them and claiming the cash bounty offered by colonial governments. King William's War was a phase of the larger Anglo-French conflict for colonial domination throughout the world. New Franc
History of the United States
The history of the United States, a country in North America began with the settlement of Indigenous people before 15,000 BC. Numerous cultures formed; the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the year of 1492 started the European colonization of the Americas. Most colonies formed after 1600. By the 1760s, thirteen British colonies contained 2.5 million people along the Atlantic coast east of the Appalachian Mountains. After defeating France, the British government imposed a series of new taxes after 1765, rejecting the colonists' argument that new taxes needed their approval. Tax resistance the Boston Tea Party, led to punitive laws by Parliament designed to end self-government in Massachusetts. Armed conflict began in 1775. In 1776 in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the colonies as the United States of America. Led by General George Washington, it won the Revolutionary War with large support from France; the peace treaty of 1783 gave the new nation the land east of the Mississippi River.
The Articles of Confederation established a central government, but it was ineffectual at providing stability, as it could not collect taxes and had no executive officer. A convention in 1787 wrote a new Constitution, adopted in 1789. In 1791, a Bill of Rights was added to guarantee inalienable rights. With Washington as the first president and Alexander Hamilton his chief adviser, a strong central government was created. Purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 doubled the size of the United States. A second and final war with Britain was fought in 1812. Encouraged by the notion of manifest destiny, U. S. territory expanded all the way to the Pacific coast. While the United States was large in terms of area, its population in 1790 was only 4 million. However, it grew reaching 7.2 million in 1810, 32 million in 1860, 76 million in 1900, 132 million in 1940, 321 million in 2015. Economic growth in terms of overall GDP was greater; however compared to European powers, the nation's military strength was limited in peacetime before 1940.
The expansion was driven by a quest for inexpensive land for yeoman farmers and slave owners. The expansion of slavery was controversial and fueled political and constitutional battles, which were resolved by compromises. Slavery was abolished in all states north of the Mason–Dixon line by 1804, but the South continued to profit from the institution from production of cotton. Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860 on a platform of halting the expansion of slavery. Seven Southern slave states created the foundation of the Confederacy, its attack of Fort Sumter against the Union forces started the Civil War. Confederate defeat led to the abolition of slavery. In the Reconstruction Era and voting rights were extended to freed slaves; the national government emerged much stronger, because of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, it gained the explicit duty to protect individual rights. However, when white Democrats regained their power in the South in 1877 by paramilitary suppression of voting, they passed Jim Crow laws to maintain white supremacy, new disfranchising constitutions that prevented most African Americans and many poor whites from voting.
This continued until gains of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and passage of federal legislation to enforce constitutional rights were made. The United States became the world's leading industrial power at the turn of the 20th century due to an outburst of entrepreneurship in the Northeast and Midwest and the arrival of millions of immigrant workers and farmers from Europe; the national railroad network was completed and large-scale mining and factories industrialized the Northeast and Midwest. Mass dissatisfaction with corruption and traditional politics stimulated the Progressive movement, from the 1890s to 1920s, which led to many reforms including the 16th to 19th constitutional amendments, which brought the federal income tax, direct election of Senators and women's suffrage. Neutral during World War I, the United States declared war on Germany in 1917 and funded the Allied victory the following year. Women obtained the right to vote in 1920, with Native Americans obtaining citizenship and the right to vote in 1924.
After a prosperous decade in the 1920s, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 marked the onset of the decade-long worldwide Great Depression. Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended the Republican dominance of the White House and implemented his New Deal programs, which included relief for the unemployed, support for farmers, Social Security and a minimum wage; the New Deal defined modern American liberalism. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States entered World War II and financed the Allied war effort and helped defeat Nazi Germany in the European theater, its involvement culminated in using newly invented nuclear weapons on two Japanese cities to defeat Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged as rival superpowers in the aftermath of World War II. During the Cold War, the two countries confronted each other indirectly in the arms race, the Space Race, proxy wars, propaganda campaigns; the purpose of this was to stop the spread of communism.
In the 1960s, in large part due to the strength of the Civil Rights Movement, another wave of social reforms was enacted by enforcing the constitutional rights of voting and freedom of movement to African-Americans and other racial minorities. The Cold War ended when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, leaving the United States
History of the United States (1991–2008)
The history of the United States from 1991 to 2008 began after the fall of the Soviet Union which signaled the end of the Cold War and left the U. S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. The U. S. took a leading role in military involvement in the Middle East. The U. S. expelled an Iraqi invasion force from Kuwait, a Middle Eastern ally of the U. S. in the Persian Gulf War. On the domestic front, the Democrats won a return to the White House with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992. In the 1994 midterm election, the Republicans won control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Strife between Clinton and the Republicans in Congress resulted in a federal government shutdown following a budget crisis, but they worked together to pass welfare reform, the Children's Health Insurance Program, a balanced budget. Charges from the Lewinsky scandal led to the 1998 impeachment of Clinton by the House of Representatives but he was acquitted by the Senate; the U. S. economy boomed in the enthusiasm for high-technology industries in the 1990s until the NASDAQ crashed as the dot-com bubble burst and the early 2000s recession marked the end of the sustained economic growth.
In 2000, Republican George W. Bush was elected president in one of the closest and most controversial elections in U. S. history. Early in his term, his administration approved education reform and a large across-the-board tax cut aimed at stimulating the economy. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the U. S. embarked on the Global War starting with the 2001 war in Afghanistan. In 2003, the U. S. invaded Iraq, which deposed the controversial regime of Saddam Hussein but resulted in a prolonged conflict that would continue over the course of the decade. The Homeland Security Department was formed and the controversial Patriot Act was passed to bolster domestic efforts against terrorism. In 2006, criticism over the handling of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina, political scandals, the growing unpopularity of the Iraq War helped the Democrats gain control of Congress. Saddam Hussein was tried, charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity, executed by hanging. In 2007, President Bush ordered a troop surge in Iraq, which led to reduced casualties.
During Bill Clinton's presidency American political discourse focused on domestic issues. While the early 1990s saw the US economy mired in recession, a recovery began starting in 1994 and began accelerating thanks to a boom created by technology; the Internet and related technologies made their first broad penetrations into the economy, prompting a Wall Street technology-driven bubble, which Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan described in 1996 as "irrational exuberance". By 1998, the economy was booming and unemployment below 5%. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States was the world's dominant military power and Japan, sometimes seen as the largest economic rival to the U. S. was caught in a period of stagnation. China was emerging as the U. S.'s foremost trading competitor in more areas. Localized conflicts such as those in Haiti and the Balkans prompted President Bill Clinton to send in U. S. troops as peacekeepers, reviving the Cold-War-era controversy about whether policing the rest of the world was a proper U.
S. role. Islamic radicals overseas loudly threatened assaults against the U. S. for its ongoing military presence in the Middle East, staged the first World Trade Center attack, a truck bombing in New York's twin towers, in 1993, as well as a number of deadly attacks on U. S. interests abroad. Immigration from Latin America and Asia, swelled during the 1990s, laying the groundwork for great changes in the demographic makeup of the U. S. population in coming decades, such as Hispanics replacing African-Americans as the largest minority. Despite tougher border scrutiny after the September 11 attacks, nearly 8 million immigrants came to the United States from 2000 to 2005—more than in any other five-year period in the nation's history. Half entered illegally. Early 2000 to 2001 saw the dramatic bursting of the dot-com bubble. Excitement over the prospects of Internet stocks had led to huge increases in the major indexes. However, dozens of start-up Internet companies failed as many of the lofty promises heralded by the new world of the Web failed to materialize.
On March 10, 2000, the NASDAQ peaked at more than double its value just a year before. The downturn began on March 13, 2000, triggering a chain reaction of selling that fed on itself as investors and institutions liquidated positions. In just six days, the NASDAQ had lost nearly nine percent, falling to 4,580 on March 15. By 2001, the bubble was deflating at full speed. A majority of the dot-coms ceased trading after burning through their venture capital, many having never made a profit. In 2002, the GDP growth rate rose to 2.8%. A major short-term problem in the first half of 2002 was a sharp decline in the stock market, fueled in part by the exposure of dubious accounting practices in some major corporations. Another was unemployment, which experienced the longest period of monthly increase since the Great Depression; the United States began to recover from the post-9/11 recession in 2003, but the robustness of the market, combined with the unemployment rate, led some economists and politicians to refer to the situation as a "jobless recovery".
Despite this, economic growth continued apace through early 2008 and unemployment dropped below 5%. The considerable dependence of the industrialized world on oil starting in the 1930s, with much of the proved oil reserves situated in Middle Eastern countries, became evident to the U. S. first in the aftermath of the 1973 world oil shock an
The Spanish–American War was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana harbor in Cuba, leading to U. S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. The war led to emergence of U. S. predominance in the Caribbean region, resulted in U. S. acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions. That led to U. S. involvement in the Philippine Revolution and in the Philippine–American War. The main issue was Cuban independence. Revolts had been occurring for some years in Cuba against Spanish rule; the U. S. backed these revolts upon entering the Spanish–American War. There had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873, but in the late 1890s, American public opinion was agitated by reports of gruesome Spanish atrocities; the business community had just recovered from a deep depression and feared that a war would reverse the gains. It lobbied vigorously against going to war. President William McKinley sought a peaceful settlement.
The United States Navy armored cruiser USS Maine mysteriously sank in Havana Harbor. McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution demanding Spanish withdrawal and authorizing the President to use military force to help Cuba gain independence on April 20, 1898. In response, Spain severed diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21. On the same day, the U. S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba. Both sides declared war; the ten-week war was fought in both the Pacific. As U. S. agitators for war well knew, U. S. naval power would prove decisive, allowing expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison facing nationwide Cuban insurgent attacks and further wasted by yellow fever. The invaders obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila despite the good performance of some Spanish infantry units and fierce fighting for positions such as San Juan Hill. Madrid sued for peace after two Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern, fleet was recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts.
The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U. S. which allowed it temporary control of Cuba and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico and the Philippine islands. The cession of the Philippines involved payment of $20 million to Spain by the U. S. to cover infrastructure owned by Spain. The defeat and loss of the last remnants of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock to Spain's national psyche and provoked a thorough philosophical and artistic reevaluation of Spanish society known as the Generation of'98; the United States gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of expansionism. The combined problems arising from the Peninsular War, the loss of most of its colonies in the Americas in the early 19th-century Spanish American wars of independence, three Carlist Wars marked the low point of Spanish colonialism. Liberal Spanish elites like Antonio Cánovas del Castillo and Emilio Castelar offered new interpretations of the concept of "empire" to dovetail with Spain's emerging nationalism.
Cánovas made clear in an address to the University of Madrid in 1882 his view of the Spanish nation as based on shared cultural and linguistic elements – on both sides of the Atlantic – that tied Spain's territories together. Cánovas saw Spanish imperialism as markedly different in its methods and purposes of colonization from those of rival empires like the British or French. Spaniards regarded the spreading of civilization and Christianity as Spain's major objective and contribution to the New World; the concept of cultural unity bestowed special significance on Cuba, Spanish for four hundred years, was viewed as an integral part of the Spanish nation. The focus on preserving the empire would have negative consequences for Spain's national pride in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War. In 1823, the fifth American President James Monroe enunciated the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States would not tolerate further efforts by European governments to retake or expand their colonial holdings in the Americas or to interfere with the newly independent states in the hemisphere.
S. would respect the status of the existing European colonies. Before the American Civil War, Southern interests attempted to have the United States purchase Cuba and convert it into a new slave territory; the pro-slavery element proposed the Ostend Manifesto proposal of 1854. It was rejected by anti-slavery forces. After the American Civil War and Cuba's Ten Years' War, U. S. businessmen began monopolizing the devalued sugar markets in Cuba. In 1894, 90% of Cuba's total exports went to the United States, which provided 40% of Cuba's imports. Cuba's total exports to the U. S. were twelve times larger than the export to her mother country, Spain. U. S. business interests indicated that while Spain still held political authority over Cuba, economic authority in Cuba, acting-authority, was shifting to the US. The U. S. became interested in a trans-isthmus canal either in Nicaragua, or in Panama, where the Panama Canal would be built, realized the need for naval protection. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan was an influential theorist.
S. built a p
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti